05 October 2015

This morning I helped my mum recover a lost Word document which I had reformatted for her over the weekend. Just using Word feels excruciating after writing 70,000 words across the summer in markdown.

I had to rush because of a dentist appointment. Just below my dentist is a Starbucks. Visiting Starbucks has the same feel as writing a document in Word … uncaring service producing a generic product that is over featured and impersonal.

We are already overrun by Craft Beer and Craft Coffee. So perhaps we should think about a new movement. Craft Software!

It feels like there is a common theme to the staleness of corporate offerings, whether beer, coffee, or software. Putting craft in front of each these things seems to be (today’s) way out … so maybe that’s the route for research software.

Already small groups do actually work away on very specific recipes that are of often as intriguing as the most obscure hacienda. But they need to take more pride in how they are releasing what they do, and they need to get acknowledgment when they do it well. The craft beer and coffee movements are as much about raising awareness among customers as produces.

We need to increase our level of appreciation for well produced research software: elegant and robust implementations that solve real problems.

Don’t know the best way to start, but if you know of such software maybe hashtag it #craftSoftware



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