Don’t neglect software craftsmanship

Even though the software craftsmanship manifesto doesn’t really stand on it’s own (it just adds to each of the values from the first page of the agile manifesto) the general points made there are now more true than ever.

In Germany alone for example the number of people writing software doubles every 3 years. That means half of the people writing software in Germany have less than three years experience in doing so.

Three years is exactly the time it takes for a baker in Germany to get through his apprenticeship and become a “Bäckergeselle” (a journeyman baker). Same for a carpenter.

In the kind of crafts where there still is an apprenticeship-period those three years are spend honing the relevant craftsmanship-skills – is the same true for software-developers?

How much time do you spend on honing your craftsmanship?

Books like “The pragmatic programmer” or “Clean Code” do a great job in explaining how software craftsmanship can be embodied – but how often do we take the time to follow their advice?

I don’t know for sure about other countries, but at least in Germany there is the non-profit organization softwerkskammer which is dedicated to fostering software craftsmanship through activities outside work but focusing of professionalism in the area of software development.

And with an area that moves as fast as ours and with respect to the Japanese mindset of keeping “A Beginners Mind” all of your life, for me it pays off to be active or at least participate in such an organization.

So – have fun with your local chapter of the closest software craftsmanship organization.

till next time
  Michael Mahlberg

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