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The risk of hiring a software craftsman

Rob Ashton has a good post talking about the last year or so of his development life (with some other interesting personal info thrown in).  It’s a good story, and there’s a lot of things to ponder.

Now, I suppose it might be read into this that I’m taking a shot at Rob, but that’s not the case.  I respect and admire him, and am (not without reason) a little jealous at the opportunity he had to take a year to do the ‘walkabout’ thing (look it up if you don’t get the reference).

And, I should point out that I don’t really know if he has identified himself in anyway with the software craftsmanship movement, but don’t really care.  It’s my blog and I can choose to pontificate if and when I want to.

Rob talks about how he, well, basically got sick of ‘enterprise consulting’ and how it lead to his chosen path, and there’s a lot in there worth thinking about (I think the fact that he’s single is pretty crucial to a lot of it, but whatever).

But then he says the following:

I know what I want now, and I know when I know what I want and I'm not afraid to say it. In a way, I'm now a dangerous person to hire because unless your environment is one I enjoy I'm not going to stick around for longer than a few months, no matter what the reward is.

And therein lies the rub.

Flash back to one of Uncle Bob’s presentations at a Chicago Alt.NET meeting a few years ago (way too lazy to link to it right now, google it if you care), wherein it was suggested that the software development industry would be best off if the vast majority of developers were ‘fired’ so that the ‘serious’ craftsmen could get down to business.

The idiocy of this is self-apparent, so I won’t belabor that point.  At least not now.

But the fact of the matter is that over 90% (I would say it is about 99.9%, but whatever) of the jobs that are required as part of software development in particular, and IT in general, are jobs that the average self-assessed software craftsman wouldn’t want to do in the first place.  They’d be whining that they weren’t allowed to re-write the installed software base every three months (I exaggerate, but only slightly.  I’ve worked with these people who hate enterprise consulting).

The software craftsmanship movement would, in fact, kill the software development industry.

posted on Monday, September 09, 2013 11:44 PM Print
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