Coraline Ada Ehmke

Scaling the Artisan

Historically, artisans were the sole source of manufactured goods, producing unique and valuable items for the use and enjoyment of those who could afford to employ them. In the late 1700s the role of the artisan changed with the discovery of the principle of interchangeable parts, shifting the demand for expertise from production to design and invention. This shift transformed Western civilization and opened the way for the industrial revolution.

A similar shift is beginning to emerge in the field of software development, as standardized solutions to common problems become more numerous and reliable and an increasing proportion of the work of a developer involves combining and customizing ready-made components. Under these circumstances, the role of the software artisan must evolve in response to changing technological and organizational constraints. This talk will draw on historical examples to explore opportunities to maximize the value of professionals who are reaching senior and leadership positions in the field of software development.