With that refinement, he called out for a movement. I somehow crossed the Google group with its lively discussions back in November 2008. Folks from 8thLight and Obtiva were meeting in Chicago to distill what they thought craftsmanship is all about and put their results on the list for discussion. I saw the Manifesto for Software Craftsmanship evolve from the Agile Manifesto (named "The New Left Side" in the beginning) and was part of a smaller group of thirteen people distilling the equivalence to the principles of the Agile Manifesto off list. Doug Bradbury back then did an excellent job getting us back on convergence.
Jason Gorman announced the Software Craftsmanship conference in London back in December 2008, and it was sold out within hours. I was lucky enough to reserve a spot on that conference. It was awesome, even for a tester like me. Starting from there, I tried to learn as much as possible about software craftsmanship as I could—not from a technical point of view, but from a soft-skill point of view.
Early on, there were a lot of things going beyond "clean code." There was a craftsman swap between Obtiva and 8thLight first and a couple of other companies later in 2010. There was the Wandering Book [according to Wikipedia, “a book that travels from craftsman to craftsman capturing the current thinking about the zeitgeist of the software craftsmanship movement”] that seems to have disappeared. There were mentoring programs. To me, this was and still is the radical new approach of software craftsmanship.
Back in 2010, Andreas Leidig dropped me a line. He wanted to create a conference on software craftsmanship. We met up at the XP Days Germany and organized the first Software Craftsmanship and Testing (SoCraTes) conference in Germany in 2011. At SoCraTes, we also discussed how to continue from where we were. It was there that I discussed a local user group in Hamburg together with Roland Jülich, and a local user group in Bielefeld, Münster, and Osnabrück together with Martin Klose, Andreas Simon, and Oliver Paczkowski. There were a dozen others who wanted to create local user groups. That was the starting point for the German Softwerkskammer, and I look forward to this year's SoCraTes conference where we all come back together again to exchange what we learned since then.
Zeger van Hese: Do you see a specific role for testing in software craftsmanship?
Markus Gärtner: I see the field of software development and that of software testing changing dramatically. Agile methodologies so far taught us that a separation of testing and programming has its limitations. More important than that, it has also taught this to programmers and managers. I think in the years to come, testers will be very important to our field. We will teach testing to programmers, and we will have to seek testing skills in programmers, designers, and business experts and help them become better testers.
On the other hand, we will be challenged. Despite all the things we know about how things can go wrong, we will be in a position to learn about programming and overcome our fears about all the things that can go wrong.