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Frequently-asked questions

Time to read

, 1342 words, 3rd grade

So many questions! Here we attempt to answer a few of the more common ones. Select a question below to see the response.

Questions and answers

Is craft code clever code?

Depends on what you mean by clever. If you mean do we value ingenuity and smart approaches? Of course we do.

But if you mean cleverness for its own sake, then no, not at all. Such practices actually make code a lot more difficult to read and understand.

Remember that all code is a conversation between you and the next coder to come along. We value code that is as clear and comprehensible as possible. At a glance.

It is not about showing off. Murder your darlings.

Are craft coders über-nerds?

No, but we have nothing against nerds. Some of our best friends are nerds.

Nerds are in love with the mechanics of code. They love the little details and the eccentricities. We get it. The end product is almost secondary.

Nerds love to complicate things for the simple joy of using “all the things.” And thereʼs nothing wrong with that. No judgement here!

Code nerds are a bit like the audiophile who loves the “amazing sound” of their $100/meter cables. The music can get lost in the (lack of) noise.

And when they do play the music, it is not the music to which they listen, but the sound system. Of course, there are audiophiles who are not audio-nerds. Plenty of them. For example: your humble author.

Craft coders are all about the music. Weʼre about the quality of the final product. We create beautiful web sites or web applications, right down to the syntax. Simple. Clean. Elegant.

Code is nothing more than a means to an end. Itʼs the end that counts.

The nerdy coder will often choose the most esoteric approach for the sheer joy of it. The craft coder will choose the simplest and cleanest approach that gets the job done.

So, go for it, nerds … but thatʼs not Craft Coding.

But is there a market for craft code?

Itʼs not about the money. But yes, there is a market for anything and everything that is well made. The question isnʼt whether there is a market, but how big that market is.

But even if there is no “market” at all, there will always be web developers who build web apps as a labor of love. And wouldnʼt you use Craft Code for your precious baby?

If all you care about is getting something up even if the code is crap, hey, thatʼs cool with us. But itʼs not Craft Coding.

Who is behind all this?

The idea for Craft Code arose in a discussion. On one side was Charles Munat, a web developer among other things. On the other was Hannah Pearson-Coats, a business analyst and Charlesʼs partner.

They were discussing Charlesʼs approach to coding and teaching. Itʼs an approach he has been ranting (er, polemicizing) about for years. Heʼd even been rambling on about exitprise and vanilla code. About getting back to simpler approaches and other “radical” ideas.

In an attempt to explain it to Hannah, Charles made analogies to craft beer and craft cocktails. Heʼd been quite involved in both back in the day — he has the scars on his liver to prove it. Then Hannah exclaimed, But thatʼs exactly what you do! You make craft code!

She insisted that there must be many others out there who feel similarly. But the rush to embrace ever more code libraries! And frameworks, abstraction layers, services, cloud this and that. The list goes on and on and drowns out the voices for simple, efficient “craft” code. Technophilia rules, we guess.

Craft Code also fit with several other projects Charles has been working on:

  • ScratchCode: a site to teach coding from scratch. We use the Craft Code approach. We base our pedagogy on the “Munat Methodologies for Learning and Teaching”.
  • Paperhat: an organization (and soon a web site) dedicated to efficient, high-speed learning. It will document the “Munat Methodologies”.
  • Cantankerous Coder: a site for Charles to share unusual views on the tech industry and the world. Controversial views. Sometimes expressed with blunt candor. Beware. Not at all polite.

(The above are works in progress, but weʼll link to them here as soon as they are up.)

And so it began …

How can I support this effort?

Well, the best way is suitcases full of cold, hard cash. Do they still make that stuff? We prefer small denominations. Twenties? Unmarked, non-sequential bills. Please.

We will have a Patreon link (or similar) up soon. We will link to it on every page. Check back.

You can talk us up to others who might find this effort interesting. You might post links to us on social media. If you are rich and famous and have, say, a billion followers, then please, please, please share a link to us. Just one. Maybe warn us first?

You can also sign up using our join us form. You can also add your name, if you so desire, to our page of supporters, coming soon. Get in early as it is likely to get crowded! Heh heh.

Or see the Get Notified form at the bottom of most site pages to subscribe to notifications of site updates.

Contact us if you want to support us in other ways. Weʼre always open to suggestions. The goal here is to build a community of supportive, like-minded people. Not to hear ourselves talk.

Can anyone join?

Sure! Of course, you must survive the top secret rite of initiation (iffy). And learn the esoteric secret handshake (tricky). And memorize the Holy Book of Craftiness word for word (impossible).

Oops. Did we blurt that out?

Ha ha. Kidding. The truth is this: if youʼre coding the Craft Code way, then you are already a craft coder. And if you arenʼt coding this way, then youʼre not, no matter what claims you make. Itʼs definitional.

Then again, proper joining is easy! Complete the join us form, submit it, and bam! Youʼre in. Itʼs free.

Look around this site. Youʼll find plenty of ways to get involved.

If you want to provide support in other ways, money is good! We accept suitcases full of unmarked bills. Or cashierʼs checks in large amounts. Or, hmm, gold ingots? Digital currencies? Drop us a line and weʼll figure something out.

But donʼt feel obligated. Like craft coding itself, this is a labor of love. Weʼll keep doing it as long as we can manage it whether anyone else comes along or not.

Why so many quotations?

We have included many diverse quotations on this site. You might think them appeals to authority. They are not.

Some sources are anonymous, others are not well known. Thus, it is not about “authority” at all. Our arguments in favor of craft code must stand on their own. Most should be prima facie correct. So why the quotations?

Itʼs simple. We are not the first to make these observations. We are also not the only — or the first — travelers on this path. It is a well-worn path, and we are only the latest to pass.

The love of craft and bespoke work is as old as humanity. Many, if not most, of the principles we illustrate here are well understood. This was true even in the earliest days of programming.

Others have existed since the beginning of recorded history.

Whatʼs more, they are fun. They are elegant. Some are even “clever”.

There is nothing new in this world, but often we lose sight of where we are and where we have been. At times such as these it pays to stop, step back, and take a wider view.

In this manner may we avoid losing that which is most valuable to us.

You can contribute!

Got a question? Send it to us and weʼll try to answer it. Trolls will be roundly ignored.

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