I just posted this in the Software-Testing Yahoo Group; I thought it also applies to Creative Chaos:
— In email@example.com, “woynam”
> It never ceases to amaze me the tremendous contribution
>that Smalltalk, and the Smalltalk community, has provided
>to our field, especially considering the small penetration
>that the language achieved.
Indeed. This reminds me of an old Paul Graham essay where he pointed out that the renaissance basically started in Florence, Italy.
What was it about Florence, that it generated more than it’s fair share of genius’s per capital? Was it something in the water? Probably not, because Florence in 1,000 AD and Florence in 1,900 AD did not have that level of success.
What was it then?
Something about the culture of collaboration and sponsorship, I think. The Florentine middle-class who were allowed to make big piles of money and keep it in the 1,200’s (from silk, IIRC), went on to become upper-class a few hundred years later and sponsor artists, and, eventually, the knowledge workers, the Da Vinci’s, had the opportunity to pursue a life of innovation and creation.
If you want a similar story, look into Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), that invented the Ethernet, the Windowed Operating System, Personal Computing, and Object Oriented Programming – ideas picked up by Apple and the SmallTalk folks.
We may be reaching a similar place in software development and testing. Better yet, it can be led by practitioners who also do. My greatest concern, at this point, is this idea of Dogma and Belief, EG Agile-Testing is or is not this specific thing – without any feedback or evaluation of if that thing works for what environments and how it could be done better.
We may be getting past that. And I think that is a good day, indeed.