Software Craftsmanship: Apprentice to Journeyman

O'Reilly is hosting a collaborative book/wiki called Software Craftsmanship: Apprentice to Journeyman. It's structured as a series of "recipes" on how to approach different aspects of software development.

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More detail needed?

Something between my computer and their site is rather slow, so I've only browsed a few of the recipes. My initial thought is that it needs more detail. It seems like there is a lot of flowery prose, but little precision on how to turn this into action. In my experience rookies in particular really need to told exactly what to do -- at least to get them started. For example, I'm teaching part of a software engineering course at the moment, and all my students have chosen (with some subtle nudging) to adopt Extreme Programming. I've found it really helpful that Extreme Programming lays down a precise set of practices that the students can follow. They know exactly what they should be doing at any time. When they gain experience they can improvise their own practices, but they need the rigid rules to get them started.

Re: feedback

I'm one of the authors and according to LtU I've been a member here for 3 years and 35 weeks. Time flies.

First of all I'd like to say thank you for the feedback Noel. We're trying to do some fairly ambitious things with the book so I expect us to get a few things wrong along the way.

We'll try to be more concrete in future. However I do have one question. How are you going to move your students away from being able to follow rules to a stage where they're going to be able to create their own practices? That transition doesn't happen automatically and one of the things we're really interested in is how we help people become self-directed.

Some sort of answer.

I've finally blogged a partial answer.

I've got an Addison Wesley

I've got an Addison Wesley book on my shelf by the same name, different subtitle.


That's presumably Pete McBreen's Software Craftsmanship: The New Imperative. The new book/wiki seems to include several quotes from McBreen's book, so I can only assume that the similarities in title are intentional.