In chapter 15, “Pragmatic Craftsmanship”, author Mancuso defines what pragmatic craftsmanship is. He states craftsmanship without pragmatism is not craftsmanship. A craftsman’s primary focus is customer satisfaction. Besides quality, time and cost are part of this satisfaction. Job as craftsmen is to lower the cost of quality to a point that it is not a concern anymore. For that, we need to master our practices and be pragmatic. We need to understand the value that certain practices bring in different contexts. When dealing with craftsmen, clients should never pay more for quality.
Furthermore, this chapter, busts the myth that quality is costly. Cheap and average code is good enough, maybe in the short term, but never in the medium and long term. Regardless of what managers and product owners say, they all expect quality. They would always choose quality if they didn’t need to trade it off for something else, like time and money.
What I learnt from this chapter is the true meaning of code. I used to think that code is a piece of software which perform certain task. Of course it needs to accomplish the task successfully, but also more importantly it should be well-crafted in every possible way. It should also provide a long term value.
Chapter 16, “A Career as a Software Craftsman” discuss what it is to be a craftsman and how to have a successful and fulfilling career. Honesty and courage are essential qualities of a software craftsman. Software craftsmen are passionate about software development and their profession. Being a craftsman is more than being a good developer who writes code well and delivers business value. It’s a lifestyle. Moreover, being a craftsman means to be curious and experiment with new things. It means to be pragmatic, always looking for simple solutions and using the best tools for the job.
Yes, being a software developer is beyond awesome. Being known as a Software Craftsman (hopefully in future) is the best decision I made in my life. It’s a life where I choose to do things well, to be the best I can be. But the tile comes with responsibilities. I should be honest, courage, and full transparent, which I will be.