Craft Consultants

in Craft 4 minutes read

As aspiring Software Craftsmen we are raising the bar of professional software development by practicing it and helping others learn the craft.

Manifesto for Software Craftsmanship

Who are we?

We are a group of people with a mission.

We understand how important it is to share knowledge and help others, but we also know how busy we all are on a daily basis. That is why we decided to create this group that will act as kind of consultants. We will be there to be hired, free of charge, to work with anyone on demand, guaranteed to be there.

(This is a description of how we will operate within our company, HolidayCheck. You can adapt this in yours as well.)

How exactly will this work?

Let’s say I will offer two hours every Thursday, from 14:00 to 16:00. That is the time that I will be there to work with anyone that will request it.

Only X hours a week?

It all depends on the person (and how busy they are), but the strength is in numbers. The more of us there are, the more time we will be able to offer to our colleagues. Eventually, if everyone does that, one or two hours a week will most likely be enough.

Does that mean I can join?

Yes, of course! Everyone is welcome. The more the better.

But I only know X, Y, and Z, and there are multiple languages/technologies in use…

It doesn’t matter. Let’s say I will offer help with: JavaScript, pair programming, TDD and code reviewing. You will offer help around: Scala, pair programming, Jenkins. Others — different things. Eventually, more and more languages/technologies will be covered.

What matters is that you will be there, available, and on demand. Again, the quantity of us will play a bigger role.

But how does it differ from me going around the office offering my assistance?

The main difference is that you only do it if/when you have time and only for people at your location. Here, you offer your services at a certain time (like at a store ;) ) so that anyone, from any location, can approach you because people know that you are there.

And what if someone needs me right now?

There is nothing stopping them from reaching out to any one of us. We might be busy, we might not. The whole idea is to provide guaranteed office hours in addition to always being happy to help.

But what if a few people show up at the same time?

Well, first come, first served. I believe the best idea would be to schedule it up front. So, ask if that person is free, set up a meeting in the calendar, and that’s it.

A little side-note: this will be figured out better once this becomes a nuisance. For now, we believe that people will sort this out somehow.

And if nobody shows up?

Then it is fine, then you can do whatever is that you need to do team-wise or proactively help someone from your team or office.

Why do we think it is needed?

We believe that sharing knowledge is at the root of Software Craft. Thanks to that not only do we share, but we also learn.

We aim to have people:

  • learn more about the products across the company — should we work with someone from a different team,
  • work together more — thus removing knowledge silos,
  • get to know other people more — by working with them,
  • get out of comfort zones — by working on different setups (be it a team or a product),
  • becoming Crafters — by doing all of that.

Photo by Zhen Hu on Unsplash.