I have a problem

I have a problem: I like to learn a lot from a lot of different domains.

If we’d meet today, I could discuss on a variety of topics such as: science, design, history, geopolitics (including current events), economy, psychology, neuroscience, food, cultures, pop culture, writing, leadership, technology, society, medicine, nutrition, philosophy, parenting (although I stay away from it most times), organization, business, foreign policy, innovation, complex systems, cinema, marketing. That’s without including my main specialties: software development, process optimization and making knowledge work work.

While all these ideas are very interesting to me, and they help tremendously in my work, they stay somewhat in the background.

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Software craft is for me…

Through a very fortunate accident, I’ve been involved with the Software Craft movement almost since its beginnings. It’s been almost 10 years of non-stop learning, meeting people who I respect and learn from, and meaningful conversations. Yet I always felt something was missing.

Software Craft is a loose, young, complex, and evolving social movement. It represents different things for different people. Some see it as a belief system. Others see it as a renewal of old guilds. Some see it as a metaphor, while others recognize its realities. For others, it is a pragmatic idea, required for an industry in its teenage years.

All these viewpoints, despite being contradictory, make sense. From a logical perspective, I understand all of them. But what was missing was my personal answer to an important question: what is so appealing about the Software Craft idea?

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One less excuse

It recently dawned on me how often I say or hear the words “our industry is young”.

There’s truth in these words. Architecture, medicine, craftsmanship, engineering – they all started thousands of years ago. They had time to make mistakes, to learn from those mistakes, to come together as a profession and define it, to build tools and practices and to improve upon them, to build curriculum for schools and use it to teach the next generations.

But these words are tricky. They are tricky because they express the perfect excuse. “The industry is young, man, what can I do if we have a lot of bugs? I’m not to blame if I was born so early”.

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For The Perfect Programmer

There’s nothing to read here for you. Really, nothing at all.

You are a perfect programmer. Your code is the best you’ve ever seen. We all bow to your wisdom and awesomeness.

There’s nothing more for you to learn. There’s nothing left to practice. There’s nothing left to read, no conference that can teach you things, no community that can advance your skills.

There’s nothing for you in this blog post.

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Being a keynote speaker

I wasn’t born a good speaker. I didn’t even start public speaking until very late. And the beginning was rough.

My first attempts at public speaking were very scary experiences. I literally couldn’t speak for the first 5 minutes. Luckily, Maria had a trick upon her sleeve:  she would pair speak with me and always go first. This way, my panic vanished and I could start babbling something on the stage.

Fortunately, after a lot of public speaking in communities and at conferences, I got over my stage fright. I think the turning moment was Agile Lean Europe Bucharest, in 2013. I pushed myself towards doing all the public speaking I could: a normal talk, taking over a cancelled speaker’s session and a lightning talk. After this experience, public speaking doesn’t scary me any more.

It was time for me to face the next challenge: being a keynote speaker.

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