"Software Craftsmanship: Raising the Bar of Professional Software Development"

Who: Doug Bradbury, 8th Light

When: September 22, 2009

Agile began as a developer centered set of values and practices that aimed to uncover better ways to develop software. As the movement has grown, the Agile community has been flooded by managers and agile coaches who see the improved productivity and want to harness it for their companies. As a result, much of the discussion in Agile has moved towards managing people, managing backlogs, managing those typists who write the code. Well typists, where have those eXtreme values that first excited you so much gone?

In the last year, many people have begun talking about Software Craftsmanship. Pete McBreen first coined the term with his 2002 book of the same name. This year a summit in Chicago, a conference in London, a google group, a manifesto, and the recent Software Craftsmanship North America conference in Chicago have brought together craftsmen from all over the globe to refocus the conversation on writing good code.

In this talk, we will explore why the craft meme works in talking about software and the kinds of things being learned from historical craft work. We will look at the values in the Manifesto for Software Craftsmanship and the related ethics statement. We will also talk about what it means to be a professional and to work towards mastery of your craft.

Intentional practice is one of the ways in which many craftsmen are building their skill sets and improving the way they write code. In the second half of the evening, we will do a bit of practice ourselves with a randori. Randori is a group coding exercise where we take turns working on the same piece of code. Your disciplines of testing and writing clean code will be put to the test in a fast and high pressure couple of minutes when you take the stage in front of your peers.

Speaker Bio

Doug joined 8th Light with more than 5 years of software development experience. Doug has written everything from assembly level digital signal processing algorithms to web application with Ruby on Rails. He adds strong real-time embedded C++ experience to 8th Light’s talented and diverse group of software craftsmen. He has worked for companies serving several niche markets including pro audio and speciality printing.

With 8th Light, Doug has contributed to several projects in Ruby, C++, and Java. He was a team member on the Fidelity Life project. He helped craft the Manifesto for Software Craftsmanship and is continuing to contribute to this emerging movement. Doug is the creator of the web based (rails) app Gift of Admin.

Doug and his wife, Jen, are avid travelers, hikers, and skiers. Much of their time is also devoted to teaching and mentoring junior high and high school students in a suburban church.