There have been a few books in my professional career that have had a major impact on my work and the way I see this world. They include Clean Code, The Pragmatic Programmer and a few others. I’m pleased to add “The Software Craftsman” to that category.
I’ve heard the word Software Craftsman thrown around for a couple of years. It’s not what I would call a neutral term - I’ve seen some coments made about Software Craftmanship by some very knowledgable people that say it is not a good thing - that the title is for the exclusive few who feel they know better than everyone else - that many of the people that claim the title have lost touch with the real world and shipping to production.
I then have to reconcile these views with my own experiences. I’ve worked with many software developers over the years - some good and some really bad. Some of the best developers I have worked with have humbly taken on the title of software craftsman.
Which leads me to why I found so much value in this book. The main take home I got from ‘The Software Craftsman’ was to solidify my own understanding of what Software Craftmanship actually means.
The irony behind it is, based on my current understanding, many who would poo hoo the title are actually software craftsmen in their own right.
So what does it mean? Well, it turns out it is hard to put the exact meaning - in essence it means to become a professional developer and have pride in your work - and yes I know that is vague, I would suggest reading the book to understand what I mean by that.
What I loved most about the book was the journey it took me on. The author, Sandro Mancuso, shared several experiences I could relate to directly, which validated my own experiences.
Areas that resonated with me
- p.3. 32 to 38: Examination of the Software Craftmanship Manifesto with critique.
- p.g. 44: Keeping ourselves up to date - read books, 4 main types of books - Technology Specific (Silverlight), Conceptual (The art of unit testing), Behaviroural (The Software Craftsman), Revoltionary (The Pragmatic Programmer, Extreme Programming Explained).
- p.g. 36: What great developers want, who they want to work with and why.
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