[Pharo-users] I am David Allouche, let me introduce myself.

Ben Coman btc at openinworld.com
Mon Jan 11 10:37:58 EST 2016

On Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 5:37 AM, David Allouche <david at allouche.net> wrote:
> Hello folks.
> Some people have already seen me on Twitter and Slack, but I believe there
> might be some people on the mailing list that did not see those
> conversations.
> As I have done on Slack, I am writing this introduction so people have an
> idea where I come from and what is my business with Pharo.
> I am a professional programmer. My current job is tech on a small company I
> run with two associates (by the way, we are hiring a good Python web dev
> with a passion for good code). The product is a SaaS web application for
> recruiters. They call that an Application Tracking System, it is a workflow,
> communication and archival system for job applications and candidates.
> I started programming 25 years ago with HyperCard, and since I have at least
> played with Pascal, C, Prograph, asm68k, HP-48 (RPL, Saturn asm), Java,
> bash, C++, LaTeX, XSLT, Delphi, Scheme, elisp, JavaScript.
> I have contributed to GNU TeXmacs where I made important contributinos
> during about 2 years, as I completed by training as an software engineer,
> and worked at CNRS in Rennes. Then I got involved in GNU Arch (wrote a
> Python driver), Bazaar (bzr scm) where I worked with the founding team at
> Canonical while working on the version control aspect of launchpad.net.
> After that, I had mostly no contribution to free software, working on
> financial modeling at a bank and then on my current business. I made a
> presentation on SQLAlchemy at PyCon.fr 2015.
> I am a fan Design Patterns (GoF) and the Refactoring book.

Have you seen "The Design Patterns Smalltalk Companion"
It might help segue your experience into Pharo.

and also "Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns"

> My mentor at
> Canonical (Robert Collins) is heavily influenced by Smalltalk and championed
> XP there. I always had strong interests in software systems design,
> programming language design, typography, and user interface design. I feel
> strongly for the concept of software craftsmanship.
> My current job is nice, good pay, lots of independence ; after 6 years
> working on the same project, I need some fresh intellectual stimulation. And
> I was recently impressed by the presentation "Nothing is Something", by
> Sandi Metz, who is heavily influenced by Smalltalk.
> http://confreaks.tv/videos/bathruby2015-nothing-is-something

Wow, a great endorsement of Smalltalk from an insider of another community.

You'll find similar enlightenment with "A Mentoring Course on Smalltalk"

> So, I here I came, bumbling my way around the system, looking for
> intellectual stimulation, and for a way to make a positive contribution.

Pharo is great for this.  I don't currently develop software for a
living.  Earlier I was a systems administrator (including for software
developers), and lately an electrical power engineer
(https://au.linkedin.com/in/bencoman).  But while some people like
doing crosswords... I *love* programming, and Pharo is a joy to use.
I've been surprised a few times when peeking under the covers how its
possible to follow, understand and change the depths of the system.
You can really feel you make an impact.

I can't remember who famous said something like "The only languages
worth learning are the ones that changes the way you think about
programming..."  and I found that with Smalltalk & Pharo.

> I was very impressed by the nice welcome I have received. And I see there is
> lots of useful work to do here.

Some drive-by newcomers that generically complain "why doesn't my new
tool (Pharo) work just like all the other conventional tools" do get
short shrift.  Such arguments follow a common pattern when we believe
our differences are our advantage,  so this keeps the noise down in
the mail list.  That said, we don't want to be insular, so fresh eyes
providing *constructive* criticism are welcome.  Come with an open
mind, review and contribute code and you'll be very welcome.

A good way to get your hands dirty is to review fixes submitted by others...
There are never enough hands there :)  (my own action here fluctuates
from time to time)

I learnt a lot of the system from reviewing other people's fixes, by
using PharoLauncher to easily start two Images running side by side.
In first image, I stop a <merge> of an issue's Slice half way through
so the methods being changed are listed, then drop a #halt into some
of those to trace the existing issue.  In the second image I complete
the same <merge> and drop a #halt into the same methods, and debug
each image in lock step to see where code path differs.

> So that's where I come from when you see me chipping in the conversation
> here.

Glad to have you on board.
cheers -ben

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