Am I a crafstman?
I am on the verge of building our own house. Or to be precise: to let other qualified people build my house. I am not that much of a ‘handy-man’ myself, so I put my trust in others to do the job – thoroughly – for me. But we (as in ‘us’, the so called unhandy) know that feeling every once in a while, when the tap is dripping or the closet just doesn’t close like it should. Or those times that stupid dishwasher just stopped working!
There will be plenty of people discouraging me to fix it myself since I’m not handy. All those years I have been hearing the same, not just for me, but for a lot of my fellow programmers, webdevelopers, nerds & geeks. We are not handy. And strangely, I just accepted and even believed that!
OK, truth to be told, I am really not good at masonry, carpentry or another traditional craft. But does that mean I am not a craftsman? Day in day out I make software by hand. I manually type in every character to created structures that the computer can understand. I am a web developer, and I make my sites by hand. I have no tool with a button that says ‘create site’.
Than is it not a true craft? Websites qualify to be called software, if you think otherwise, try building one with a backend system + authentication + database communication + automated e-mail + a picture gallery and a big (BIG) client logo. That will just about give you a basic website. Ok, fair enough, I use tools. I use other software that helps me get the job done quicker. But so does a carpenter. He doesn’t cut a plank in two by hand now does he?
I am a craftsman, and a damned good one. So are all of us geeks and programmers. We create complex things, by hand and a lot of times by heart. We even take it one step further sometimes, working without a manual and with technologies that change faster than McDonald’s brings out a new burger. So we should start being proud of our crafstmanship! But we aren’t proud, we just build it and move on to the next one. Cause that’s how we roll.