Briefly about me
About my study
I'm a mathematics student at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I will be completing my bachelor's degree this August and continuing on master's study in mathematics at Roosevelt University in Chicago immediately afterward
I'm interested in the application of computers to modelling of discrete systems. Otherwise, I'm interested in the mathematics of finance, fundamental concepts in computing, statistics and its applications, and literature.
My non-Smalltalk experiences so far
I have been using open source software and programming in C/C++ since ~1995. I have 1 year of experience using Python in a mathematical setting. I have about 2 years of experience using Common Lisp for personal projects. Also, I completed 2 years of a computer science curriculum through Data Structures and Algorithms, Theory of Computation(Finite Automata and Turing Machines), and Graph Theory.
My Smalltalk experiences so far
I started exploring Pharo/Squeak very recently (within the past two months) after a fellow student asked me what I knew about Smalltalk and I didn't have any very clear ideas. I found the Prof Stef tutorial and Stephane Ducasse's excellent collection of literature on the subject more than adequate to get started and become rapidly productive using the Pharo environment.
Why am I interested in Smalltalk?
I find the purity of the object model and the dynamic nature of the environment refreshing. I think the access to the entire source base for the system at the click of a mouse is incredibly useful for rapidly learning how the pieces are put together, especially to the extent that the system is discoverable. Other dynamic languages lack some of the 'magic' that Smalltalk provides, especially when it comes to introspection and full visibility of every aspect of the system. I am also very interested in integrating TDD into my personal workflow. I think SUnit and the Test Runner provide first class support for integration of unit testing, and will enable me to be more conscientious with my programming habits.
Will I stay with Smalltalk after the project is finished?
I intend to find as many uses for Smalltalk as I can in the future. I feel that the community has very good ideas about where it wants to go in the future, knowledge of where it is now, and respect for where they've come from. I would be interested to continue learning and using Smalltalk to model systems. Since I use computer programming as an exploratory tool, my personal productivity in the environment is much more important than what language or tools someone else expects me to know.