May 14, 2014
5 Years Of CodemanshipThis month sees the fifth birthday of my training and coaching company Codemanship.
I created the company in 2009 to take advantage of the growing demand I was getting to run workshops and coach teams in what we're currently calling software craftsmanship.
I wanted to put into practice ideas that had been swimming around in my silly old head for several years, especially relating to how good development teams happen.
I firmly believe, based on my own experiences and on the available evidence, that good software development is a product of good software development cultures, and that culture happens bottom-up over a long period of time.
The boss cannot demand good development culture. Management edicts just don't work in this space. Nor can we expect it to happen overnight. You can't send your teams on a 2-3 day course and expect them to come back transformed.
Through Codemanship, I focus on developers and their habits and instincts, helping those who want to improve to gradually shift the patterns that are their default behaviour.
Our BBC TV Platforms case study illustrates how this can be done and what effect it might have, but there are many ways to skin a rabbit, and many routes to becoming better crafters of software. Over the last 5 years, I've worked with many different organisations and thousands of individual developers, and helped them to discover their own path, just as I once discovered mine.
Outside of the day-to-day work, Codemanship has also been busy in the community, and I've been blessed to be involved with some great events and initiatives, like producing a West End comedy show to celebrate the code-breakers of Bletchley Park, organising the original international Software Craftsmanship conference, and curating and contributing to the Music By Programmers album to raise funds for a programming club at The National Museum of Computing.
I'm most proud, though, of one extra-curricular activity; my apprenticeship with Will Price, a CS undergraduate who's working with me to help plug the gaps in his education on the practical side of "just how do we write software?" We're reaching the end of our first academic year - though there'll be much for us to do during the summer break - and I'm very pleased with how it's turned out so far. I'll be traveling the length of breadth of the land talking about it, and hopefully encouraging a few of you to try something similar.
Finally, just to say a huge thank you to all our customers, without whom none of this would be possible. I'm very lucky to have the chance to work with you all.
So, that's 5 years of Codemanship. So far, it's been the most fun, the most challenging and the most rewarding experience of my career, and I've got my fingers crossed that there'll be many more years of this to come.
Posted 4 days, 9 hours ago on May 14, 2014