Software Craftsmanship, Not For Everyone

I posted a few days ago about a lesson I’d learnt; Learn Everything All Of The Time. Right? Long story short, There’s only so much you can do… but what if you don’t want to do it?

Another lesson I’ve learnt is that not everyone wants to be a Software Craftsman. I use the term Software Craftsman after reading the book Software Craftsmanship by Sandro Mancuso. So much of this book resonated with me:

Software Craftsmanship sees software as a craft and compares software developers to medieval blacksmiths

This is an excerpt from very early in the book and is one of my favourite lines. I blindly assumed that all developers felt the same, but it seems I was wrong. Not everyone has the thirst for knowledge or drive for excellence that I thought they did (drive for excellence is very different to feeling that excellence has been achieved, a very important distinction).

I know that if I ever feel that I’ve achieved excellence that something has gone very badly wrong, for me the idea is that you always aim far enough away that you can achieve just in time to realise your next goal. Any plateau or feeling of complete comprehension simply means I’ve stopped learning, and there is always more to learn.

The important thing for me here is to remember that not everyone feels this way. Is it fair to expect excellence from someone that only wants to give good enough? Is it logical to share lessons with someone that doesn’t want to learn?

At this very point in time I feel very privileged to be working with individuals that I would consider Software Craftsmen, not because they know it all but because they strive to learn, much the way I do. I must remember though, that not everyone wants to be a Software Craftsman; but the more the merrier, right?