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5 hours? I’m with Andy – I couldn’t even count the hours I’ve spent writing CMAC code to do specific things I needed. But, I think I can safely say that the time I spent on these projects was saved multiple times over by the gains in efficiency I realized by using them.

Time spent improving your tools, IMO, is similar to time spent in technical training. That specific day may not be productive in ‘lines of code’ sense, but it’s a way of investing for better productivity later. If I can adjust MEW so it has information I need at my fingertips, vs. a 2-3 minute lookup every time I need to verify a field name, for example, that’s 30 minutes a day I’ve saved, going forward.

I purchased my own MEW license several employers ago – MEW 7.11, if I remember correctly – it saves me the trouble of trying to persuade every new manager to approve the purchase, and I can be more productive from day 1…