I've been interested in craftsmanship for two months already. I read a couple of books, added some blogs in my rss reader and followed a bunch of twitter accounts. Now, after reading all this things I started asking myself - What we are talking about here?
By reading the Manifesto of Software Craftsmanship, one can say that it's something that only "the chosen one" can practice. By signing the Manifest you feel like entering into a secret society with sacred mission. Well, I don't feel so pathetic about it. In my eyes, people are getting too romantic here. After all, we are working in modern society with market society - we need to working for a living. And customers don't care if you are modern knight armed with wireless keyboard. They only want a working piece of software.
Still, It's up to you to be in a condition to deliver this working piece of software. How to improve your skills? How to stay in touch with latest technologies, that come up everyday? How to solve hard problems? Here craftsmanship can give you priceless advices (of course, you don't have to be an apprentice to follow this steps nor craftsman to give them). Apprenticeship should keep you in good shape and make better and better everyday. Without any arrangements to keep you on the track, you professional career is likely to end pretty soon in our dynamic and constantly changing industry.
To sum up, what craftsmanship means to me? The values that craftsmanship has are those to help me improve myself. Everything apart from my professional development, all those ego trips that people tend to follow are pointless and should be ignored.