A couple of weeks ago I watched this talk in which Corey Haines tells us all about the software craftsmanship movement.
Although I haven't heard about the movement before (where have I been for the last couple of years???!!!) some of the things he talked about there felt very familiar.
A bit more digging out took me to the Apprenticeship Patterns book. And there again, a lot of familiar concepts, and even real physical situations clicked with me straight away.
One of the patterns that I enjoyed a lot is breakable toys. I have been doing this kind of small projects for years now, although I never called them toys but prototypes or spikes. Also the level at which I was getting involved with these projects was different from the one in the pattern. In my case they used to be pretty much a couple of hours work to get some framework installed and getting a hello-world kind of project out of it. The pattern goes much deeper than that. One of the examples they use is to create a wiki, and although it might seem a bit over-engineered at the beginning, they assure that it cat teach you about "HTTP, REST, parsing, web design, caching, full-text search, databases, and concurrency". That sounds a lot cooler than my 2 hours testing framework approach to toys.
I have also enjoyed the interconnection among patterns, and how some of them can lead to others. It is a great read and although the book is available online, I had to buy a copy. And of course, recommend it here; you should certainly go and buy it now!