[Seaside] Should I become a Seasider?

Ralph Boland rpboland at gmail.com
Fri Apr 8 21:53:57 UTC 2011

This post is about making a living as a web developer using Seaside.

I am an unemployed software developer in Calgary (1,000,000 people),
Alberta, Canada.
I have used Squeak for years but I have found no Smalltalk work in Calgary
and in fact know of only one small company in Calgary that uses Smalltalk.

I know very little about Seaside.  My impression is that websites
developed using
Seaside are somewhat slower than with other web development tools and that
Seaside uses more memory (I assume on the server side) than other web
development tools.  Nevertheless there are web developers using
Seaside successfully.
Are these impressions correct?

What I am wondering is should I learn Seaside and then attempt to sell my web
development services in Calgary?  My impression is that:
1)  No one in Calgary has ever heard of Seaside so selling my services
would be difficult.
2)  Since I should be able to develop web sites faster using Seaside I
should be able to
     offer my services at a discount and hopefully be able to find
business that way.  But
     since no one but myself (at least locally) would be able to
maintain the web sites,
     potential customers are going to be very shy.
Are these impressions correct?

Lets assume I decide to become a web developer (something I know
almost nothing about)
using Seaside as my competitive edge. To my knowledge I would be the
only Seaside
web developer in Calgary.

1)  How long (starting basically from scratch) is it going to take
before I am competent;
     or at least competent enough to seek clients?  Assume I am a
competent Squeak developer.

2)  Which version(s) of Smalltalk should I use?
     I know Squeak and have used Visualworks in the distant past.

3)  How screwed will my clients be if my ticker stops unexpectedly.
Can Seaside developers
     from outside Calgary pick up the slack for my hypothetical clients?

4)  Is there any areas within the web development would that I should
concentrate on or avoid?

5)  Is there any additional software/hardware that I would need other than my
     home computer (running Ubuntu) and Squeak/Seaside?
     My resources for investments is very limited.

Are there other questions that I should have asked?

Starting a business is generally a tough deal so please don't butter me up
with glowing reviews of Seaside.


Ralph Boland

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