Saturday, October 14, 2006

How these things begin

I had a chance to wonder about the circumstances in which I learned Smalltalk. To a point, they were a bit miraculous.

I did not like a university, I went to another. I realized how much I disliked how Computer Science was being taught, so I shifted to Mathematics. The Algebra instructor I had was not fun at all, so I decided to change to another Algebra class. The guy there also knew how to program computers, very nice. I started talking to him about computer programming things, and eventually he insisted so much about this thing called Smalltalk. I was curious, and in time he spent 3 hours and taught me the basics. I paid attention to what he had to say. Although my Pascal/Assembler past was not the best background for it, I took a more or less unbiased look at it. And I liked Smalltalk because you could have things that behaved in a much more real sense than a bunch of bits thrown somewhere.

I saw my old programs, in which I had invested so much time and energy, become obsolete overnight. It didn't bother me. I had something new and better to learn.

Had I insisted with any of the things I did not like, I do not think I would have heard about it. Had I determined that Smalltalk was bad because I couldn't do xor ax, ax or any other far fetched thing, or had I been too attached to what I had done already, I would not have paid attention to it.

So what is the mechanism that draws people to Smalltalk? These small miracles? Or something else? What is your story with Smalltalk?

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