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Craftsmanship

Are you a craftsman in your job?

Do you look at how other people do it and comb over the details, critiquing or praising each element?  Do you consider yourself a student of the game?  Someone who is striving to get better each day?  Do you read blogs and books on your job subject matter?  Do you attend conferences or participate in the community of people also doing that job?

Or are you just phoning it in?  Are you focused on friends and family and not worrying so much about the job?  When you do a part of your job, are you OK with mistakes or sub-optimal outcomes?  Do you think people who have a “philosophy” about the job are taking it too seriously?  Is “doing it right” a subjective statement to you?

Possible uncomfortable truth: Most people would characterize themselves as craftsman, but in reality are hacks just trying to make it through the day.

There is a contractor I recently worked with who made this page that had every possible error in the book.  It was a horrible piece of work that literally wasted the time of the entire team and needs to be redone from scratch.  It really pissed me off how sloppy and unprofessional the work was.  It made me think of the great people I have worked with and the difference in outcome.

Great things come from craftsmanship.  Without it, you get unpleasant UI, poor maintainability, unhappy customers, uninspired coworkers and a host of other plagues.  I salute the people who go the extra mile in their craft.  I will be loyal and praising of you for as long as you practice your art.  For those who just slap things together, I want you to know that I (we) hate the products and services you produce.

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