I am the founding fellow of entryway software. We are a purpose driven team doing good things for good people that are changing our world in a positive way. I live in Floyd, Virginia; a small town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains home to many farmers, hillbillies, artisans and our company of software crafters.
When I am not crafting the codes, I enjoy playing guitar, hanging out with my son Loic, and relaxing on the 33 beautiful acres that I live on. I love meeting new people that are doing interesting things, hit me up if you'd like to connect.
To me, Craftsmanship is a set of principles, techniques, and beliefs focused on developing software of integrity. Properly crafted software follows a process that cares about, and strives toward high quality, intelligent, and sound computer code.
Craftsmanship by any other name is still Craftsmanship, we are all searching for the true meaning behind the word Craftsmanship. Are there shared principles to this word that we all hold of value? Is there a single, objective definition? A manifesto that must be accepted? A canon of techniques?
We are all striving to define the true nature of Craftsmanship so we can understand it fully in order to share in, and relate to, the principles that we have found, as a community, that aid in developing high quality and meaningful software. We not only want to provide true value to our customers, we also want to enrich our own sense of well-being, growth and passion for the craft.
The intrinsic nature of the Craftsmanship principles are what makes them so hard to 'teach' and relay in a traditional academic sense. Craftsmanship is a refined skill that is learned over time through experience by placing the utmost care into the creation of software code.
While we can share and teach certain techniques that we use to develop high quality software, technique alone is not enough to master a craft. Passion, self-discipline, and care are needed.
Mentorship is the ideal way to share. By sitting beside someone day in and day out, one can catch onto their passion through empathy, getting a sense of the master's self-discipline and drive. Not only proper technique is shared, through the physical presence of a master of software the raw emotion for software development can be transferred to an apprentice.
Most of us have probably worked in a formal corporation or heartless software development shop. You may have lead the technology vision and often found yourself asking, "why am I the only one that seems to truly 'care' about what I am doing"? The reason you care so much about software is what underlies true Craftsmanship.
A software crafter is often on the verge of obsession. Craftsmanship is caring enough to change the little things that may not be noticeable to a customer, whether it is for aesthetic reasons or for the future maintenance of code. It is the forethought toward the future evolution of market, client, and software.
But it is also about letting go if time, budget and other healthy constraints do not allow the ideal code that forms a solution. In a practical and pragmatic way, always coming back to refine and refactor the code when time allows, picking the proper battles. Passionate mindfulness is a better word than obsession. Awareness of, but not emotional or personal attachment to, a technique or solution.
I founded a small boutique shop, entryway, after years of disgust with the ethics and quality of the organizations I worked for. My main challenges these days are not technical. I am focused on creating an environment for software development where the Craftsmanship principles can be exercised and honored. As the principle, I am often torn between client budgets, customer desires and the real world tribulations of running a business. For me, this is now more of a challenge then specific software techniques as I learn to properly craft a company honoring Craftsmanship.
This post was my entry in The Wandering Book, a wonderful idea by Enrique Comba Riepenausen who works with the fine folks at Eden Development. The book is traveling the physical world to people who practice Craftsmanship. You can read the Wandering Book entries in their entirety here.
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