The importance of actually building stuff

Jurgen Appelo did it again - he has kinda shot 140 char Twitter cannon in a way that has nail'd the point completely:

Kaboom.

Most likely he's intentions was just to stop people babbling around and actually do something instead, but I'd like to extend it a bit.

Personally I'm quite sick with people who:

  • always "know better" (but never do better)
  • are very eager to criticize anything that's getting discussed ATM (it's so freaking easy to criticize stuff, as opposite to propose something constructive)
  • still live on their reputation earned in ... well, when & where exactly was that?
  • declare their cryptic opinion (with the air of a sage), but in absolutely non-actionable way: "to make people thinking on their own"

But when did they actually built anything on their own for the last time?
Are there any tangible results that vouch for their words?
Why don't they set the shoulder to the wheel to prove they're right? Right here, right now.

Software engineering is not a theoretical science, it's practical low-level hands-on-code engineering. It involves getting hands dirty.

One more digression:

I still remember the discussion in social media that has happened after Greg Young has announced his conference (in this particular blog post) with a daring, provoking title: We Actually Build Stuff. The intentions were not hard to interpret - supposed goal was to put an emphasis on real-life lessons learned by practitioners, not evangelists, PowerPoint architects or marketers. Some people didn't took it well, some have criticized GY openly (which wasn't that surprising as GY is not a one to beat about the bush) for his "arrogance".

But to be honest - I really see his point. I totally applaud (100%) the idea. This industry really, really needs more practitioner authority based on actual "field-of-battle" merit.

Software development is very specific - on one hand it's extremely fragile & complex, but on the other hand it's really easy to create something that "just works" (in majority of cases). What is more - the flaws & defects are not always clearly visible, they may be obfuscated with conditions, functional aspects, strong hardware, etc. But it makes laymen overconfident, they feel like experts they never (or a long time ago) were.

That's why in Software Craftsmanship (even more than in other industries) the respect should be EARNED. And not given forever, but proven with day-to-day ACTIONS.

Title pic: © Voyagerix - Fotolia.com