[Pharo-project] Have started an independent developer activity - Thank you

laurent laffont laurent.laffont at gmail.com
Sat Apr 9 09:34:02 CEST 2011


I discovered Smalltalk and Pharo almost three years ago and just after read
Chad Fowler book "Passionate Programmer" (1st edition title was "My job went
to India"). These have changed my developer life, how I perceive software
and that great technology is fun, people doing it more. You're a cool
community and I'm proud to be there.

Now I've started an aside (paid :) independent developer activity thanks to
a cool guy. That would not be possible without all the stuff I learn every
day from the community and the urge to continue you give me.

Each time I've made a step forward (open a blog, write ProfStef, fix bugs,
create PharoCasts) I've been amazed that the generated effects were those
described in Passionate Programmer (go read it !) The last chapter is "Go
independent" so now I need the sequel ;)

Special big thank you to Stéphane Ducasse - you're crazy :) Long live Pharo

PS: nice piece of Passionate Programmer:

When I was in India weeding through hundreds of candidates for only
tens of jobs, the interview team was exhausting itself and running out
of time because of a poor interview-to-hire hit rate. Heads hurting and
eyes red, we held a late-night meeting to discuss a strategic change in the
way we would go through the candidates. We had to either optimize the
process so we could interview more people or somehow interview better
people (or both). With what little was left of my voice after twelve
hours of trying to drag answers out of dumbstruck programmers, I argued
for adding Smalltalk to the list of keywords our headhunters were using
to search their résumé database. But, nobody knows Smalltalk in India, cried
the human resources director. That was my point. Nobody knew it, and
programming in Smalltalk was a fundamentally different experience than
programming in Java. The varying experience would give candidates a
different level of expectations, and the dynamic nature of the Smalltalk
environment would reshape the way a Java programmer would approach
a problem. My hope was that these factors would encourage a level of
technical maturity that I hadn’t been seeing from the candidates I’d met so
The addition of Smalltalk to the requirements list yielded a candidate pool
that was tiny in contrast to our previous list. These people were diamonds
in the rough. They really understood object-oriented programming. They
were aware that Java isn’t the idealistic panacea it’s sometimes made out
to be. Many of them loved to program! Where have you been for the past two
weeks? we thought.
Unfortunately, our ability to attract these developers for the salaries we
were able to pay was limited. They were calling the shots, and most of
them chose to stay where they were or to keep looking for a new job.
Though we failed to recruit many of them, we learned a valuable recruit-
ing lesson: we were more likely to extend offers to candidates with diverse
(and even unorthodox) experience than to those whose experiences were
homogenous. My explanation is that either the good people seek out
diversity, because they love to learn new things, or being forced into alien
experiences and environments created more mature, well-rounded soft-
ware developers. I suspect it’s a little of both, but regardless of why it
works, we learned that it works. I still use this technique when looking
for developers.

Laurent Laffont - @lolgzs <http://twitter.com/#!/lolgzs>

Pharo Smalltalk Screencasts: http://www.pharocasts.com/
Blog: http://magaloma.blogspot.com/
Developer group: http://cara74.seasidehosting.st
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