Software Craftsmanship: Coding Under The Influence

January 31, 2010 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

Started following the software_craftsmanship group where there is a thread on vouching mechanisms and their inherent problem.  Who is an apprentice? What makes you a journeyman? A master? It seems clear that in terms of supply and demand, software development mastery is closely related to intelligence: Many of us are fairly certain that we have a lot of it. Ranking others “Ebay style” and being ranked ourselves is both highly subjective and somewhat discomfiting: What is our focus? Building great software or trying not to be voted off the island?

So what is a constructive way of telling what makes craftsmen tick? Who did they learn from? Who influenced their thinking? It seems that the question of lineage, in the Eastern tradition of acolytes and adepts, is of some significance.

In a fine display of craftsmanship, James Martin hits the nail on the head:

As an aspiring craftsman, I’d like to know who are the people that are well respected by other craftsmen because of something they’ve actually done, so I know who’s shoulders to stand on when I’m learning and honing my craft.

Fred Ballard tells us about Erdös numbers, an interesting concept.

From the Wikipedia entry:

The Erdős number (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈɛrdøːʃ]) describes the "collaborative distance" between a person and mathematician Paul Erdős, as measured by authorship of mathematical papers.

Can we develop our own measure of “collaborative distance”? The mind boggles, recalls a long-ago beer-sodden night with Greg Young and Adam D. and does some storyboarding in commemoration:

Click to enlarge.



Entry filed under: People, Software Development.

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