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Sunday afternoon thoughts: Craftsmanship

These days software is considered an industrialized product. One has clear processes, a proven methodology and a team of well trained IT people (architects, analysts, developers, coders, testers etc.). Still many projects fail spectacularly. Hug Macleod spells out the truth (while in a different context): " This isn't a record store. You can't just hire a bunch of college kids whenever there's an upswing." Software, despite all processes and tools is a craft. I haven't come across a craft that does not require apprenticeship and devotion to learn the spirit of it. Even with the greatest tools you will find the moment where you need "some magic happens here". Katie dissects RUP and shows that little gap.

A lot of blame for the lost art goes to the MTV generation with the need of instant gratification (why learn how to operate a parachute if bungee jumping seem to offer the same kick). Blaming the youth is a sport that's popular for thousands of years, so I don't buy it. Digging a little deeper I find a very different reason: fear of failure: we have to be perfect on the first shot. We are embarrassed if we fail. Companies only hire the top performers (and who develops them?). I think the solution for the dilemma is to put more focus on the craft, listen more and be ready to improve one step at a time.

Posted by on 13 February 2005 | Comments (0) | categories: Software


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