Monday, May 11, 2009

Uncle Bob, professional opinionator

Uncle Bob is back to his version of talk-radio for the blogosphere. Kernels of truth, whole gallons of certainty.

It's remarkable how many people get into definitional tugs-of-war over "professionalism" without citing the original, technical (if you will) meaning of professional.

Classically, if your vocation doesn't have an professional organization, government licensing requirements, and a code of professional ethics, among other things, you're not a professional. Plumbers are; coders aren't.

In my favorite clarifying example, there's a deep undertone of dry humor to the phrase "oldest profession", probably lost on most people today.

Thus, in the classical sense, anyway, an appeal for professionalism is an appeal to become establishment, institutional, blessed by the powers that be. Culturally (though perhaps not politically) it's conservative. I don't know that Uncle Bob intends this, but if so, it's seems to me this is not what Agile needs.

Craftsmanship, yes; ethics, of course; Marick's Artisanal Retro-Futurism x Team-Scale Anarcho-Syndicalism, very possibly. Speechifying and invective... no thanks.

(Note that I haven't read his actual keynote. Perhaps the speechifying is less in the speech than in the blog.)

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