More on Instantiations’ deal with Google

I just found this very interesting article on eWeek: Google`s Instantiations Buy is a Win for Java, Smalltalk

It’s one of the first sources (I found) that not only talks about GWT and Java and summarizes what Mike Taylor and Eric Clayberg said on yesterday’s conference call:

Clayberg added: “We’re very excited by the way things have happened and also happy that Instantiations will continue to go forward and grow the Smalltalk business, and continue to be funded.”

Indeed, “Our plan is to leverage some of the money we’ve all made in the Google transaction” to keep the Smalltalk business rolling, Taylor said. However, “our Smalltalk business is showing significant revenue growth year over year since we got it,” he added. The business has been profitable and self-sustaining, he said. And to quell any concerns about the future of the business, Taylor ensured customers that he and his leadership are not just geeks (despite Taylor personally having been coding Smalltalk since 1984). “We see this as a viable business, and we plan to make it work.” he said, adding, “We both have MBAs, and Eric’s is from Harvard. We’re confident we can not just keep this alive but grow it.”

Taylor said he expects to gain some converts from IBM’s and Cincom’s Smalltalk platforms.

You can read the full article here

The future of VA Smalltalk

Now that we’ve learned that Instantiations is turning into a pure Smalltalk shop, it’s probably time to take a second look at what Mike Taylor (the old and new CEO of Instantiations) said in his talk at the VA Smalltalk Forum Europe 2010, back in June.

I’ll let the following slides of his talk speak for themselves:

You can download this and all other talks of that event from our webiste. If you’re interested in more details, watch the video of Mike’s talk.

Agile Certification to the rescue

Sebastian Kübeck sums up very nicely what I’ve been thinking about certifications in the agile methodolgy field for a while:

It’s a way of making lots of money out of a very short and precise set of ideas. Not that I have any problems with people having a business model that seems to be based on very little substance. I also am not an opponent of agile methods.

But I guess it’s somewhat counter-productive to build up a load of formalism and course material on the agile idea. Attending a two-day course or even a week’s course and taking a test will not make you a good agile developer or product owner or team leader or whatever.

Working with these ideas, finding out what works good for you and for your team, building up your own set of good practices and being able to change that set for a new team with different talents is what is needed.

Unfortunately, recruiters and HR people like certificates, so the business model seems to work very well:

After all the madness around Scrum Certification, there is now a new body called The International Consortium for Agile (ICAgile) and lead by Alistair Cockburn and others.

Last year I decided to not attend an already booked Scrum certification course when they changed their rules to regular re-certifications. I decided I won’t need that. It’s a cash cow. I rather try to work with people who understand and work based on The Agile Manifesto and learn from them. Even if the outcome is neither Scrum nor any other agile method, if we ship in time and high quality, and if the code is easy to maintain after three, six or twelve years, we’ve done a good job.