Beyond software craftsmanship

Notes from an unconference session at Island Innovators

I had the pleasure of attending the Island Innovators unconference that took place in Jersey last month ... an event co-hosted by Yossi Vardi (the "godfather of Israel's tech industry") and Daniel Seal in conjunction with Locate Jersey and Digital Jersey. This was very different to the usual software development conferences that I attend, with the background of the attendees being very broad. To give you a flavour, the session highlights for me were discussions about SaaS businesses (including pricing models, etc) and one which presented some fascinating insights into the Israeli culture.

Software development - what's next?

Since this was an unconference, I signed up to lead a session to discuss where software development is heading.

First we talked about the current state of software development and I jotted down some notes on flip chart paper (red writing is bad stuff that happens, green represents some solutions). Nothing new here, but it set the scene for the rest of the discussion.

There was a huge number of ideas to solve the problems outlined above, and rather than writing them all down, I attempted to summarise them based upon a list of principles that a "good software developer" should adopt. This is what the next sheet shows.

Finally, we wrapped up the last few minutes of the session by discussing how all of this could possibly be achieved in the real world.

It's an interesting time for the software development industry. Although there's a ton of debate out there about whether software development is art, craft or engineering, I do know that we need to get better at it. Protected/regulated titles and apprenticeships have all come up in conversations before, but it's a complex issue given the sheer quantity and variety of software development out there. Jersey is a small place and perhaps we can use this to our advantage. Perhaps we should do something on a small scale regarding the professionalism of software developers and see what happens...

About the author

Simon is an independent consultant specializing in software architecture, and the author of Software Architecture for Developers (a developer-friendly guide to software architecture, technical leadership and the balance with agility). He’s also the creator of the C4 software architecture model and the founder of Structurizr, which is a collection of open source and commercial tooling to help software teams visualise, document and explore their software architecture.

You can find Simon on Twitter at @simonbrown ... see simonbrown.je for information about his speaking schedule, videos from past conferences and software architecture training.



Re: Beyond software craftsmanship

You have drawn an accurate picture of the current state of software development. No matter how much we learn about accurate estimation, the big bosses commit unrealistic deadlines to the client which leads to all this chaos. What they fail to understand is by compromising on quality they are creating a technical debt which will decrease the capability of faster time to market for subsequent enhancements.

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