[TUHS] really Pottering vs UNIX

Dan Cross crossd at gmail.com
Fri Sep 15 11:24:44 AEST 2017

On Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 5:15 PM, Bakul Shah <bakul at bitblocks.com> wrote:

> > On Sep 14, 2017, at 1:46 PM, Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
> >
> > I think you are actually touching on an idea that has been around
> humanity for a long time that is independent of the computer field.  We
> call it "good taste."  Part of acquiring good taste is learning what is in
> bad taste, a heavy dose of experience and frankly the ability to evaluate
> your own flaws.
> More to do with a sense for quality. Often developed through experience
> (but not just that). I think what we need is a guild system for
> programmers/engineers. Being an apprentice of a master craftsman is
> essential for learning this "good taste" as you call it.

No, please; not this old saw again.

This guild system for software keeps coming up but I don't see how it
cannot but be abused. I remember reading one of those self-help books by
one of the agile types (I forget which one) and there was a vignette about
one of the self-styled agile gurus (Robert C Martin, I think) coming into
some room where people were undergoing "apprenticeships" an, seeing an
overflowing trashcan and taking out the trash. The person telling the story
went one and one about being so embarrassed because s/he was "just" a lowly
intern and this "master software craftsman" had taken out the trash.

I pretty much stopped reading after that. Sorry, but I cleaned enough heads
and squad bays when I was in the Marines; Robert C Martin can take out his
own trash, thank you very much. Also, I read one of his books once and he
misspelled "Lieutenant" in the chapter about quality and attention to
detail (a minor detail I was acutely aware of because I was a Lieutenant at
the time).

I think a better system than putting us into this rigid hierarchy system is
to think of programming as somewhat analogous to writing; it requires
proofreading and good editing. Some authors are better than others;
practice helps a lot, writers workshops can help, seeking out advise and
mentorship from more accomplished writers similarly, etc.

But the guild/craftsmanship metaphor just doesn't work for me.

        - Dan C.
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