It's been a few months since I was at Handmade Seattle - and a couple of realizations are starting to solidify for me.
Right now, I work as a mobile developer, doing React Native for money. In my personal time I work on actual native development using C as a shared code base between Objective C and Java. I would much rather develop using this lower level process, but the very real critique against my method is that if I were to do this kind of thing for a client, they'd have a hard time finding other developers who could work on it after I left.
"We can't hire people to solve the problem we have, so let's create a different problem that it's easier to find people to solve."
The future of the path we're on is to spend the next 5 years mastering all the trivia and bugs that come with each new version of React Native and it's myriad of unsupported dependencies, and then after year 6 when React Native is sunsetted, forget it all and relearn everything again with whatever the new React Native is. All the while supporting the current system of development which prioritizes worker-replaceability over the creation of solutions which provide some benefit for humanity.
So that's the path we're on.
Or, if we work to create a visible, organized collection of developers, locally and internationally who believe in this handmade code movement and want to work on solving the actual problems we have instead of the made up problems, then we can collapse the hiring argument, and create a small foothold of sanity, by which we can build a competitive movement against the current tide of garbage programming. And create some software that solves a real problem rather than a made up one.
Okay so what am I actually talking about here?
I want to be able to visit any city in the world, and know that there is a handmade club of some kind there, with monthly in-person meetings where people discuss and share projects which show off low level code, handmade code, data oriented programming, compression oriented programming, 8 bit computing, etc.
I live in Detroit, and am working with a friend to create something like that here, but would love to do this as part of a collective - something repeatable and growing, with sister organizations that connect with each other and collaborate.
If you've started up a local Handmade community, or are thinking about it, let's chat!
- Seth Detroit (subtext)