So here is a observation i’ve had recently: I’ve always been “cut” worse by others' usage of tools than I have been myself. When i’m responsible for project’s upkeep and well being, I get to feel and understand the pain points I introduced, and have the domain knowledge to rectify them. Contrariwise, dealing with a “sharp” section introduced by somebody else, in many cases i’m left to struggle to understand their intention and end up robbing them of the learning experience. Maybe its wrong to blame the tools for this, but in many environments its easier to change tools than people.
Collaboration is precisely where the woodworking analogy breaks down. How many people can really collaborate on the construction of a single piece of wood furniture? Maybe you need a second person to help you manipulate some large or heavy pieces or you can parallelize some work on subcomponents. However, you better have somebody who is in charge of directing a heavy lift; and you need to agree to the measurements of the component joints. Meanwhile, modern software projects are massive with a great deal many more moving parts than a rocking chair.
I find the history of wood use fascinating. Traditionally woodworking was done by many many people. There were few generalists. You had 1 person to mill the lumber, 1 person to dimension lumber, one person to shape it to rough, one person to build the joints, one person to assemble, one person to finish, one person to carve.
If you look at a picture of old-timey wood shop, there’s probably a bunch of people at a bunch of benches in a large room. There were foreman who directed the work, there are top level designers who decided on the look. You have quality control (testing) and many many more. This is all only for a lowly chair. Imagine trying to build a barrel out of nothing more than oak and a drawknife that will withstand months of travel at sea all while not leaking. Thousands of such barrels were made. Speaking of sea travel, these vessels which could circumnavigate the globe were built entirely by hand, with wood and could carry many multiple tons of cargo. Building one of these ships was the most expensive and complicated thing you could possibly do in their era.
Thanks for reading the article and thanks for the comment. Also analogies are analogies. If you made a 1 for 1 map of something it wouldn’t be a map, it would be the thing.