October 9, 2019

Craftsman is Sexist

  —A comment on craftsman is sexist.

I read this Twitter thread with interest/dismay/curiosity at various times. The point is words have power and people need to be cognizant of how they use language. It’s focus is that language exerts the power to exclude.

In this case, the use of “craftsman” is asserted as exclusionary to women. To disagree requires some creativity. Or insensitivity.

You can understand this as follows.

If you relate to being a male but won’t refer to yourself as a craftswoman then you get it.

It’s an excellent point and worth remembering.

It would take considerable effort to understand everything else in this and related threads. I won’t try.

I still follow Sarah Mei. Can’t say I agree with everything she says.

I can say the same about Robert Martin.

I’ll continue to follow them both because I still have hope I can learn from them. Perhaps that’s enough.

A week on and this thread is still going. One argument that’s come up a couple of times is that Sarah is a troll. I think it patiently ridiculous.

She isn’t a troll because she isn’t doing this anonymously. Read her blog. There is a consistent message there.

A better summary of Sarah’s points: More on why agile / XP so often fails heterogenous teams.

I get the pair programming issue–I haven’t seen it work whenever its been forced and I don’t force it.

I don’t get the issue with TDD Test-Driven Development. I treat TDD as a tool in the testing toolbox–use it if you like but you must test your code.

Perhaps the difference here is the 100% component of the argument? Nah, the focus is on the power dynamics.

So where is the power dynamic in TDD? I always thought of TDD as a single person activity which is probably the gap in my understanding.

I wrote the original version of this post in 2018.

Only two things have really changed in the past year. Sarah’s points still make sense. Robert’s are harder to rationalize.

Still following both Sarah and Robert.


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