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The EchoChamber Software Craftsman Cooperative

A bunch of guys at ElegantCode have announced what they are calling the The Software Craftsman Cooperative.

At a very high level, it is hard to see what could possibly be wrong with this:

“All members are dedicated to working collaboratively with clients, which means alternative ways of doing business.

The Software Craftsman Cooperative members maintain the following values:

  • Working together produces better results than working alone
  • Transparent and collaborative client relationships are healthier than fixed bid contracts
  • Delivering business value does not always mean delivering lines of code
  • Deliberate action is preferred to reactive heroics
  • Well crafted software produces more value than utilitarian execution “

I mean, you can’t really argue against working together.  Well, you could, but it would be silly.

I met Jarod and Jason at the Alt.Net Conference in Seattle in 2008 and, along with Sergio, to my recollection, we had a good time, very productive.  So, the fact that they are involved in this initiative is good.

But then you get to this:

“Some things about SCC membership:

  • Membership is by invitation only
  • Membership is subject to a vote of the standing members”

Gosh, I can’t see how this couldn’t degrade into any sort of highly political and/or personal issues.  Really, it will all be just a happy family, since everyone agrees on what ‘Software Craftsmanship’ means.

And the ultimate goal, really, seems to be this:

“The goal of the Cooperative is for all Members to contribute to each other’s mutual success in the delivery of excellent software, specifically:

  1. Provide the ability to secure larger contracts (most of the the members will be individuals or small companies).
  2. Provide access to experts in a particular field, either on a paid contractual basis (see #3 below) or simply for advice.
  3. Shared marketing, specifically:
    1. Help to alleviate the "feast or famine" problem that is inherent in the consulting business by providing access to a larger pool of opportunities.
    2. Members can refer opportunities (either in totality or specific pieces thereof) to each other.
    3. Potentially a brand for the Cooperative could be created and marketed.
    4. An online community used to share knowledge of business opportunities between the Cooperative members.”

Unlike some people, I'm not against making money.  But combine an invitation-only group designed to financially better members of said group…can’t imagine what could go wrong there.

I mean, for example, if someone who wanted to join the group believed the following:

- unless you are developing a framework (as opposed to an application, however you want to discriminate between the two), TDD is a harmful software practice.  You should be testing scenarios, not methods, and doing otherwise, causes harm.  If you aren’t doing BDD, you suck.

I’m guessing you wouldn’t get voted in.  Even though that belief is, arguably, correct and true.

Instead, you’ll get the Least Common Denominator beliefs of what makes someone a ‘Software Craftsman’.  And combine that with a motive to make money….not a chance that will be a problem.  Nope.

All that said, I guess it’s better than having a Big Ball of Mud Cooperative.  Maybe.

Curious if when people apply for this thing, will the vote be public on applications?  Hmm…..

But, I’m sure it will all work out without controversy about who voted for or against whom.

    posted on Thursday, January 14, 2010 9:16 PM Print
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