Thursday, October 23, 2003

So, Why Did You Leave Java?

I've been asked this question a lot lately and mostly from Java developers. The question is never asked in a deragatory manner. The questioner usually has a quizzed looked on their face (like WHY would you leave Java?). Now, my smart ass answer has been, "Because I hated typing!" I like this answer because it has double meanings. I'll leave it as an exercise to our readers to figure it out...=) But, today, I didn't want to give a smart ass answer. Now, I know why Java developers ask the question. It's not because they think their language is better, but they think I'm taking a step down by working with a less popular language. Why do I think this? Well, usually, it's one of the questions they ask in our conversation like "Don't you think you're limiting your career opportunities?" I answer this with a resounding HELL NO! Smalltalk has always enjoyed a small tight community that I love dearly. I'm proud to be part of a smaller community. It sets you apart from the crowd. Being a Java developer is like being one of the millions. Does this mean I would still love Smalltalk if it got popular? My answer would be @#$%& YES! I choose my language on what I am most effective in and find wonderment in. I went back to Smalltalk again because I am more effective in it that Java. I never have to think about the language, only the problem at hand. In Java, I was always forced into thinking about the language with its many shackles to prevent you from hurting yourself. I like being free. I guess it amounts to that I found a really cool group of people to work with. They love to have fun and look at things a little differently. They are an XP team and I've been curious about the whole thing for a long time. I even tried some of things at different places I've worked. They take XP all of the way! I think I would have still come here even if they had been doing another dynamic language (like Ruby or Lisp). And I do stress the dynamic language part. I'm done with static typing! At this point, in my career, I want to solve problems and have fun. Smalltalk allows me to do that with its awesome environment. OK, enough gushing about Smalltalk for now...=)

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