What is software craftsmanship, and what does it mean for the tech world? Today I sat down with Emma Booth, Business Development Manager at Codurance, to answer this question and more.
Can you tell me about Codurance?
We’re a software craftsmanship agile consultancy. We develop software products for companies, but we also simultaneously coach and train their staff on best development practices. We’ve worked with ASOS, Tesco, Moonpig and Mango to name a few. It’s about streamlining the process, and getting teams working together on the same level.
What is your role?
I’m Business Development Manager. I aim to highlight to companies in the Manchester Tech Community what we do and what we’re about. It’s also about building relationships with those people and keeping in touch to ensure sure they’re happy and that their projects are going well, and being that person to support them.
What’s going on at Codurance currently?
We have a couple of projects in the works, and some new people starting very soon. We’ve also ramped up our meetups. We have our Manchester Patterns Group every two weeks here in the Studio at Headspace Manchester, and we’ve begun to focus on expanding our Software Crafters North event.
We want to emulate the success we’ve had so far in London, which now has around 5000 users. Recently, we organised an event with one of our partners at Code Nation where we did an interactive coding game. It was received very positively, and we are hoping to continue in a similar vein, integrating with more partners like Code Nation.
What does the word ‘craftsmanship’ mean to you?
One of our co-founders Sandro Mancuso has written a book called The Software Craftsman. Craftsmanship is a movement within software engineering that came about in the wake of two previous methods; the Agile movement and the Waterfall method.
Craftsmanship is about taking Agile and something called extreme programming, and producing quality, working software. The developers are happy because they’re actively preventing bugs from occurring, so they have more time to work on new projects rather than constantly going back and fixing things, and also the business is positively impacted because they can see what’s happening. It’s more efficient.
Can you tell us more about the Manchester Patterns Group you run here at Headspace?
The patterns group has quite a loyal following of about 15 developers in Manchester who turn up every fortnight on a Wednesday to discuss architectural software patterns. At each meetup, we work through a particular question, and then break off into smaller groups and problem-solve the best way to come up with a solution. It’s a chance for people to learn something new and collaborate in a way they might not ordinarily during the working day.
And it’s great to have it at Headspace– it’s easy to book, it’s a really nice space, the team help us arrange and set up the event, and it’s a great looking building in a central location. This is important because when you’re asking people to give up their time in the evening, it needs to be convenient. And the fact that it’s flexible, and we’re able to bring in our own food and drinks is ideal.
Do you see Codurance expanding further?
We are actively recruiting at the moment, and we’ve got some quite ambitious growth plans. We’ve just moved into a new office in London, so we’d like to grow the team. We’d love to work with more Manchester-based businesses and develop Software Crafters North, getting more members, bigger events and more community-led events too.
Best thing about Headspace?
The waffles! We also like the yoga, and the fact that we don’t have to worry about anything. Everything is already sorted, so we can just go into the offices and get on with our work.
At the same time, it’s easy to engage with people. Today for example, I’m on my own in the office, but I don’t feel alone because I can come down and have a chat. The Headspace team introduce us to other people in the building, so we’re able to network and meet other people.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Treat people how you’d like to be treated.