The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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Here’s how my adventure in the world of Smalltalk began. They began a few years ago after I had retired from programming and I wanted to do something to keep my mind active. A dear friend of mine introduced me to the Smalltalk programming language and I immediately fell in love with it. Why?

It’s because Smalltalk is an unbelievably clean, concise, elegant and simple language. There is nothing else in the world quite like it, at least, nothing that is widely used in industry. Not Python. Not JavaScript. Not Ruby. Not Scheme. Not Forth.

I learned that Smalltalk is popular in the financial industry and manufacturing sector with users like JP Morgan, Desjardins, UBS, Florida Power & Light, Texas Instruments, Telecom Argentina, Orient Overseas Container Lines, BMW, and Siemens AG. Smalltalk is used in silicon fabrication that produces the computer chips in your mobile phones, laptops, etc.

Smalltalk has even been used by the U.S. joint military to write a massive battle simulation program called JWARS. It actually outperformed a similar simulation called STORM written in C++ by the U.S. Air Force.

Another fantastic thing about Smalltalk is its built-in, live coding IDE. Live coding means that you can inspect and modify the code and data in your program while it’s running! This is terrific for debugging. It practically eliminates the traditional edit-compile-test-debug cycle that has hampered programmers since the 1960s.

Not surprisingly, then, Smalltalk is the most productive of all the major programming languages. On average, twice as productive!

Smalltalk’s main claim to fame is its object-oriented purity, clarity and consistency. This is why Smalltalk has been so profoundly influential in the design of most object-oriented languages like Python, JavaScript, Ruby, Perl, PHP, Groovy, Scala, Objective-C, Erlang, CLOS, Dart, etc.

I was so impressed by Smalltalk that I decided to be its global ambassador advocating for the language in social media. I recently returned from the Smalltalks 2018 conference in Salta, Argentina, where I gave a keynote address. Read all about it here.

The culmination of my advocacy is this programming competition that you are about to participate in. Hopefully, word about it will spread to other countries inspiring others to follow in my footsteps.

Let’s make Smalltalk great again!

~ Richard Kenneth Eng

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