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:
I can’t hear the term “craftsmanship” without getting annoyed. It is gendered, it’s not inclusive #AgileTD— Emily Webber (@ewebber) November 15, 2017
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.