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Software Craftsmanship in the Enterprise

On Wednesday I had the absolute pleasure of speaking at the first Software Craftsmanship North America conference in Chicago. I gave a talk entitled “Software Craftsmanship in the Enterprise” which covered the issues surrounding development in the enterprise today, and the steps necessary and both an organizational and individual level to adopt it in your organization.

You can download the slides in PDF format (13 MB) with the notes I used at the bottom of each slide. (And if anyone knows how to get Keynote to export a smaller PDF, please let me know. And yes, I’ve already optimized the images)

I think there are two key points to summarize the talk. The first is that the core of the craftsmanship movement is personal responsibility. You as an individual need to stop allowing fear to kill the passion you have for software development. This often boils down to (in the words of Martin Fowler) Change Your Organization, or Change Your Organization.

The second is that, if you are setting out to do the first half of the above quote, you recognize if organizational values aren’t in-line with what you are trying to bring about that you will be on the tail end of a very bloody battle. Or, as I told Pat Maddox on the cab ride to the airport – organizations are like arguing with stupid people. They will simply bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.

Thanks again to Obtiva, 8th Light and Corey Haines for helping organize the conference and inviting me to speak. From what I understand the sessions were video taped and should be posted Real Soon Now (and I’ll update once they are).