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CodeCraft Book Club Entries

For the second year in the row, we kick started our year with a book club event in which everyone brought in their favorite text/audio and discussed it. What was really interesting is that there were more podcasts than books this year, but technical books still held strongly.

We have composed a list of worthy entries (as deemed by the January attendees) for anyone’s 2019 reading/listening resolutions. The entries are as follows, in no particular order:

Books:

  • Bounce - Matthew Syek (Book)
  • Mindset: Changing The Way You think To Fulfil Your Potential - Dr Carol Dweck (Book)
  • Outliers: The Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell (Book)
  • The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed the World - Michael Lewis (Book)
  • The Bottleneck Rules: How To Get More Done at Work, Without Working Harder - Clarke Ching (Book)
  • The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement - Eliyahu M. Goldratt (Book)
  • Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter - Dr Dan Ariely, Jeff Kreisler (Book)
  • Ends.: Why we overlook endings for humans, products, services and digital. And why we shouldn’t - Joe Macleod (Book)
  • Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About The World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think - Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund (Book)
  • ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever - David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried (Book)
  • It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work -Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson (Book)
  • The Phoenix Project: A Novel about It, Devops, and Helping Your Business Win - Gene Kim and Kevin Behr (Book)
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism - Robin DiAngelo (Book)
  • This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor - Adam Kay (Book)
  • Working - Harvey Pekar’s adaptation of Studs Terkel’s book,

Code Technical Books:

  • Working Effectively with Legacy Code - Michael Feathers (Book)
  • Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship - Robert C. Martin (Book)
  • Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code - Martin Fowler (Book)
  • Infrastructure as Code: Managing Servers in the Cloud - Kief Morris (Book)
  • Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns - Kent Beck (Book)
  • Test Driven Development: By Example (The Addison-Wesley Signature Series) - Kent Beck (Book)

Podcasts:

  • Syntax Fm (Podcast)
  • Soft skills engineering (Podcast)
  • Futility Closet (Podcast)
  • Answer Me This! (Podcast)
  • No Such Thing As A Fish (Podcast)
  • The Bike Shed (Podcast)
  • Griefcast (Podcast)
  • The Infinite Monkey Cage (Podcast)
  • Dr Death (Podcast)
  • How I Built This (Podcast)
  • Coding Blocks (Podcast)
  • UI Breakfast (Podcast)

Other

  • Toyota Improvement Kata (Various Resources)
  • Learning from failure. Why feel like the fool? - Gillian Carmichael (Blogpost)

Craftsmanship To Crafters

Last week we changed the main tagline on our website, from “We are a software craftsmanship meetup” to “We are a software crafters meetup”. There are other changes to come, but let us explain this as a starting point.

CodeCraft was founded on the idea of diversity. Pretty literally. Our founders, Joe and Gary, enjoyed a good argument in the pub with each other but found that they agreed a little too much. Realising that would get boring, they decided to seek out others. When they couldn’t find an existing meetup group that quite scratched their itch for cross-language technical practice discussions, they decided to start a new meetup. We figured at the time that, in order to differentiate ourselves from our friends at Lean Agile Glasgow, we’d tag onto the idea of “software craftsmanship”, rather than try to position ourselves as “the technical part of Agile”.

CodeCraft was picked as a name as pleasantly alliterative, while taking from “craftsmanship” and “craft beer” (the latter being dropped from our event descriptions a long time ago).

Since then, we’ve been trying hard to encourage diversity and inclusion through our events, through our organising committee, through the guides we get for our conference. At every level, we want people of all backgrounds to feel like this is a meetup that is for them. It is a meetup that is for them.

Fast forward 4 years to last week, when we spotted this tweet by Emily Webber:

It made us stop for a minute and consider that word we’d brought in at the start: “craftsmanship”. Emily was right. Craftsmanship is not gender neutral. If it was bothering her, it bothered us; and would almost certainly bother someone else we’d like to turn up. We had to change.

The change itself was easy. The issue was raised on our internal Slack channel and gained consensus to change pretty quickly. The only concern raised was that if we were to change from “software craftsmanship” to “software crafters” we might confuse people if we continued linking to the software craftsmanship manifesto. Fair enough.

While we feel that manifesto should probably change its title too, we’ve never really been tied to it anyway. We discuss anything we feel is relevant to people involved in the production of software. We’ve discussed modern agile, BDD, TDD, mental health in dev, big data, microservices, modern testing, and a whole mess of other stuff.

Changing to use “Crafters” from there on was an easy and quick change. We were happy to do it if even one person feels more comfortable. We are always happy to hear how we could improve our efforts to create a diverse and inclusive community. Please let us know if there’s something else we can do. We do listen. We do change.