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Death of a Craftsman: A software developer identity crisis - Einar Høst - NDC Oslo 2020


What does it mean to be a good software developer? What story can I tell myself that gives me direction and confidence that I am doing a good job? That provides the psychological safety that we all need as humans to function well and be happy? The narrative offered by the software craftsman metaphor is one such story - by far the most prevalent one in today's industry - but could there be others? What are the implications of the craftsman narrative? Does it have any short-comings or things that it fails to mention? Could it be misleading or even harmful? And most importantly: if I don't feel at home in the craftsmanship narrative, am I still allowed to think of myself as a good developer? What will my peers think of me? Is there life beyond craftsmanship? This is the story of a software developer identity crisis: of feeling increasingly estranged from the craftsmanship narrative and finding a new identity and sense of worth outside that tale.