[Seaside] another reason Rails gets market share andSeasidedoesn't

Ron Teitelbaum Ron at USMedRec.com
Sun Jul 22 00:17:46 UTC 2007

Hi Jason,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jason Johnson [mailto:jbjohns at libsource.com]
> I understand what you're saying, but I don't see this as a cut-n-dry
> "well, we should have stuck with Java" thing.  If the technology was
> good, why didn't any of the other developers jump on board with their
> projects?  I don't believe every developer should be able to use a new
> language for every project.  But I do think those that stop changing
> have started dying. :)

Just to be clear, we only did some Java work.  We did J2EE with a Flash
front end, but most of our core applications were in Smalltalk.  There was a
big benefit of having all of our developers competent to work on all aspects
development; we were definitely a Smalltalk shop.  The point was that we had
to fight to continue using Smalltalk in the face of public company audits
and we were considered high risk because of it.

For the Java group we hired new people, which looking back was a mistake.
The Java group had a lot of trouble because the Smalltalk group was already
very comfortable and understood the business domain thoroughly.  We would
have been better off training everyone to do Java and letting a core group
take a crack at something new.  

I suppose overall I'm ok with change, (I'm learning Python now) but I think
that change needs to be well considered within a company.  Carefully
integrating new technologies and spreading the learning opportunities widely
will help long term when applications need to be supported.  I also agree
with you that any good technology will get used by a number of people and in
a number of projects.  If the technology has limited scope, in projects or
developers and the project could be accomplished using existing tools, it's
better to use what you have and know already.

Smalltalk has benefits, in development, prototyping, and support that
outweigh the risks of limited number of available developers.  In my opinion
I'd rather have a team of Smalltalk Developers building a Java, Rails,
Python, C++, SAP or what ever kind of app is needed.  A good group of
Smalltalk developers can accomplish anything.  Still it's a good idea to
commit to the resources needed to add new technology and to do it wisely.  A
one off app in a new language for one person is a bad idea.

Ron Teitelbaum

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