I am an engineering student, however, my graduate research is more inter-disciplinary (computational science). Which is good for me in some ways, because one of my better skills is programming, since I've been doing it avidly as a hobby for a very long time. Because of this, it would be much easier for me to create a widely used computational science software tool rather than a highly-cited journal article.
With the specific aim of getting a post-doc at a top-ranked university, how does creating a useful piece of software (like an original, optimized quantum monte carlo implementation for example) compare to a widely-cited journal article? In other words, if done well, both would be highly-cited, but do frequent citations of software carry the same weight as top-tier research articles?