Smalltalk Digest: August Edition
Welcome to the August 2020 edition of the Cincom Smalltalk™ Digest. In this valuable edition themed around simplicity, we will talk about the following:
CUSTOMERS and PARTNERS
In these unusual times, being able to serve your customers from anywhere is critical. Customers are adapting, make sure your business is, too. Cincom can help. #InThisTogether
- Why Is Simplicity Important for Customers and Partners?
- What Is the Cincom Smalltalk Partner Promotion Program?
- In Our Changing World, Communication Is Key to Our Customers and Partners
BEGINNERS, FREELANCERS and DEVELOPERS
- Cutting the Complexity: How Cincom Smalltalk Makes Things Easier for Users
- How Does the Simplicity of Smalltalk Help Cincom Smalltalk Users?
- Are You Ready to Try Cincom Smalltalk?
- Using Smalltalk for Quantitative and Technical Analysis
- The Strange Year of 2020
- The Search Is On for Our Next Amazing Team Member
- Where Can I Find Cincom Smalltalk Product Resources?
Snippets for these articles can be found below:
CUSTOMERS and PARTNERS
Why Is Simplicity Important for Customers and Partners?
Harvard Business Review recently published a key finding from multiple surveys of more than 7,000 consumers and interviews with hundreds of marketing executives. That study looked at what makes consumers “sticky”—that is, what makes them buy a product, stay a loyal customer and recommend it to others.
According to Patrick Spenner and Karen Freeman in “To Keep Your Customers, Keep It Simple,”
“The single biggest driver of stickiness, by far, was ‘decision simplicity’—what consumers want from companies is, simply, ‘simplicity’.”
“Simplification Through Innovation®,” is a motto at Cincom that’s also fitting for Cincom Smalltalk. Our customers and partners recognize and appreciate minimum risk, faster return on investment (ROI) and the value Cincom Smalltalk creates for their business.
As a Cincom Smalltalk customer or partner, you have already experienced productivity and simplicity developing with the product. What about your business? Are you maximizing your relationship with Cincom? Let our experienced Services team cut complexities to increase your profitability and success and add more value to your business.
Our team can assist you with:
- Product Upgrades
- Performance Enhancements
- Proofs of Concept
Does this interest you? See more details, and learn how we can help remove complexity in your business here.
What Is the Cincom Smalltalk Partner Promotion Program?
Our customers and partners have great things to say about the simplicity, power and flexibility of Cincom Smalltalk. We have a diverse group of customers and partners from a broad spectrum of industries, some having been with us for 20, 25 and even 30 years while others have come in recently through our REV Program. As Cincom Smalltalk Program Director, Suzanne Fortman, has said, “Whether you’ve been using Cincom Smalltalk for days or decades,” our customers and partners have stories about their success that they like to share.
Creating these customer and partner success stories is a process our team knows is important. We understand that marketing a product or service can be a difficult task. Businesses focus so much time and resources in developing their products or services, that marketing to potential customers often gets overlooked or not prioritized. What’s worse is that the cost of marketing products and services can often be more than a business can afford.
Marketing is such a critical piece to the success of any business. That’s why the Cincom Smalltalk team created a program to help our customers and partners in marketing their products or services. This assistance is one of many benefits that come with being a customer or partner with Cincom.
How It Works
We make this process quick and easy to help give more exposure and brand awareness to our customers and partners without taking up valuable time that could be used elsewhere.
- Step One: Fill Out a Questionnaire
First, we ask the customer or partner to fill out a brief, online questionnaire to discover the “who, what, how, why and when” of their product or service offering.
- Step Two: Develop the Story
Once the customer or partner completes the online questionnaire, our team takes the information provided and begins writing the new story. Sometimes, we ask more questions and dig deeper into the product or service. With this extra follow-up, we often uncover the “secret sauce.” This helps develop the story with maximum effectiveness for the perfect audience of the customer and partner application or service.
- Step Three: Promote the Story
Once the story is written and approved, we promote the story with:
- A new webpage in the “User Story” section of the Cincom Smalltalk website.
- A PDF version of the story that customers and partners can distribute to their own prospects.
- Promotion across our many social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, SlideShare and Scribd, as well as references in videos and monthly email newsletters.
If you would like to see a few examples of how the Cincom Smalltalk Partner Promotion Program works, check out the following user stories:
In Our Changing World, Communication Is Key to Our Customers and Partners
In “Communicating through the Coronavirus Crisis,” Paul A. Argenti of Harvard Business Review says that companies should regularly communicate with customers during the pandemic.
“Customers require a different approach than employees given that companies do not have the same access nor frequency with this constituency. … Focus on what is important to the customer. … Provide relief when possible. … Focus on empathy.”
We couldn’t agree more, and that is one of the reasons we have kept the regular frequency of the Cincom Smalltalk Digest newsletter each month.
Cincom plays a significant leadership role in providing commercial Smalltalk to customers and partners around the world, as well as the Smalltalk community. Because of this, it’s imperative that we consistently communicate with our customers and partners. Without consistent communication, those who use Cincom Smalltalk may not know what tools and resources are provided through Cincom.
From upgrading products to the current release of Cincom Smalltalk Version 9, promoting customer and partner offerings for resale and adding value for their companies, to customer programs and services, tutorials, videos and helpful newsletters, we have all of our resources, programs and product information listed here.
As a customer or partner, do you have any feedback for our team? Is there some content or information you would like to see on our website, on our social platforms or in our newsletters? Please send your comments or suggestions to the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at CSSTARTeam@cincom.com.
BEGINNERS, FREELANCERS and DEVELOPERS
Cutting the Complexity: How Cincom Smalltalk Makes Things Easier for Users
In the “Pearls of Smalltalk,” Arden Thomas, the Cincom Smalltalk Product Manager, lists “simplicity” as an important descriptor of Cincom Smalltalk. How does Cincom Smalltalk make application development simple for our users? It all starts with the language … Smalltalk.
If you look at both the creation and history of the language, Smalltalk was designed to be simple, consistent and efficient.
Veteran Smalltalkers know this story well, but when Alan Kay, the Father of Smalltalk, created the language, he did so on a dare. Early one morning at PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), Kay ran into two colleagues, Ted Kaehler and Dan Ingalls, and had a discussion about how a programming language would have to be large in order to have great power. Kay quickly asserted that he could define the most powerful computer language in the world in just a page of code. Kaehler and Ingalls told him to “put up or shut up.”
Kay “put up,” working from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. for eight straight days in response to this challenge he had received from his colleagues. Understanding that the hallmark of a great system is its simplicity, Kay set a goal to create a language that enabled the programmer to arrive at a simple result via a simple path, regardless of the complex operations taking place beneath the surface. He called it “hiding the details.” At the end of his eight-day marathon, he had completed the blueprint for his new programming language, which he called “Smalltalk.” Sure enough, all of the code for it fit on one page.
Simplicity is still one of the biggest benefits of Smalltalk and allows users to get more done with less, creates fewer problems for the user and less maintenance on the application. As Arden has quoted frequently,
“Smalltalk allows users to get their arms around more complex problems.”
How Does the Simplicity of Smalltalk Help Cincom Smalltalk Users?
Having Smalltalk’s simplicity built-in, Cincom Smalltalk cuts complexities that often complicate software development, thus accelerating our user’s potential for value, profit and growth. For our customers and partners, this development tool helps create value at the lowest possible risk, assuring the fastest return on investment.
Let’s use one of the Hidden Gems screencasts for an example. In Hidden Gems: Short and Simple, Arden demonstrates how users can write code that’s simple, clear and effectively communicates what it does. Having less code means less to maintain within the application, while making it easier to understand or make changes if needed. This, in turn, benefits the user by lower overall costs and a more enjoyable environment for development.
- Want to see this in action? Watch Arden demonstrate how simple it is to create iterators, sorting and sub-sorting within an application here.
Cincom Smalltalk requires no compromises in our users’ development. Developers focus not on the code they’re writing but on the business processes they want to automate or the applications they want to build. Those processes and applications reflect the user’s professional expertise, not merely their coding and debugging skills. The result is a higher quality, higher value process or application.
Let’s use another Hidden Gems to illustrate this. In Hidden Gems BONUS: String Extensions, Arden shows various methods within the Smalltalk library that help users quickly customize their application by making frequent or difficult things easy. This screencast illustrates a string pattern matching utility that shows multiple means for simplifying the creation and execution of string pattern matching.
- Interested in making frequent or difficult things easy in your application? Watch Arden explain how to do it here.
Are You Ready to Try Cincom Smalltalk?
With a development language that is clean and simple, it is far easier to create business models that make sense to developers. These business models form the core of systems that can evolve over many years. The fact that code is modeled in a simple and elegant manner allows the developers to understand it, enhance it and evolve it simply and easily.
If your software does not really reflect how your business works, or if it does in a way that is hard to understand or change, then your business may pay a price far greater than the costs of the systems you are developing. If you want to see the difference from your existing system, try writing your core business model with Cincom Smalltalk and compare it.
Here are two ways you can do this:
Try Cincom Smalltalk ─ A great opportunity to try Smalltalk! The Personal Use License of Cincom Smalltalk makes it easy for someone to learn and become familiar with our technology. The Personal Use License is free for you to use for your own private use to explore and experiment with.
Curious? Click here to start exploring Cincom Smalltalk and all that it can do for you.
Buy Cincom Smalltalk ─ A great opportunity to take your idea to the next level and create your own business! This popular program is an affordable investment that was created to give you a low-cost opportunity to partner with Cincom and receive all the benefits of being a customer. As a Cincom Smalltalk customer, you receive:
- Access to the full products, the current release (Cincom Smalltalk Version 9), for 1 year/12 months
- Full support for the products during the 1 year/12 months
- Your partnership with Cincom doesn’t have to end when the 1 year/12 month REV Program expires. You can carry over your partnership and continue on with your customer benefits. Contact the Cincom Smalltalk STAR Team to learn how.
Interested? Join other entrepreneurs and get started in this very popular program today! Click here to start your partnership.
Using Smalltalk for Quantitative and Technical Analysis
Cincom Smalltalk Product Manager, Arden Thomas, would like to welcome you to a new series of screencasts that serves as an introduction to Quantitative Analysis (QA)—a technique that uses mathematical and statistical modeling, measurement and research to understand behavior.
The screencasts include guided examples of how to do Quantitative Analysis as well as creating charts and indicators in Cincom Smalltalk.
This new screencast series will also walk you through how to build algorithms and interactive charts.
Who May Be Interested?
If you have ever wanted to:
- Learn how to do technical or quantitative analysis on stocks
- Tweak and explore algorithms
- Build or experiment with your own charting system
- Learn a powerful language
- Have some working examples for a starting point
… this screencast series may be of great interest.
On our website, you can find more information about Quantitative Analysis.
Here are the topics that are covered in the introductory series to get you started quickly:
- Quantitative Gems Introduction – Welcome!
- Product Installation – Installing the PUL (Personal Use License of Cincom Smalltalk)
- Loading the Example Code1
- Getting Initial Stock and Index Component Data
- An Example Setup
- Jay Momentum 1
- Jay Momentum 1V2
In these insightful screencasts, you will also learn how to:
- Do some basic number analysis on stock data series
- Write code to create indicators using some current article examples
- Build charts that you can use and customize
Why Is Arden Doing This?
Doing this lets Arden combine a hobby of over three decades with the greatest computer language ever created (but Arden is biased).1 Recently, he wrote an article for the magazine, Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities, which was published in the August 2020 edition.
You need no Smalltalk experience with Smalltalk or even much programming experience. Many non-programming professionals are very successful with Smalltalk. Smalltalk was the language created and used at Xerox PARC (referenced above), where the graphical user interface, drag and drop, files and folder (office metaphor), Model-View-Controller (MVC) and much more were pioneered or invented.
Simply put, Smalltalk lets you do more with less, creating clear, succinct solutions that are easier to understand and maintain. Because of this, they often let sharp folks get their arms around harder problems, which is a competitive advantage.
To check out these screencasts and learn more, click here.
If you have questions or comments about these screencasts or anything related to quantitative analysis, please email Arden Thomas at email@example.com. For additional comments, questions and suggestions, contact the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at CSSTARTeam@cincom.com.
1 Arden is biased – Arden Thomas is the product manager of the largest commercial Smalltalk, which traces its roots back to Xerox PARC. Before working for companies that sell Smalltalk, Arden used to regularly experiment with new languages. He came across Smalltalk, and after a brief learning curve, never looked back. He could do virtually everything he wanted in a smart, clear, succinct language that lets him express ideas and organize them in the way he wanted.
The Strange Year of 2020
Here we are in August and it’s clear that 2020 is, in a word … strange! There have been so many things that have happened in 2020 that we often don’t even remember them all. A quick Google search will give you numerous lists of things if you’d like to jog your memory.
As we look at meetups and conferences, most of these types of events have altered their plans and are either being postponed or going virtual. For Smalltalkers, it’s very odd not having the usual in-person gatherings to which many have grown accustomed. Please note the postponements of Camp Smalltalk that was scheduled for August 29-30, 2020 and the European Smalltalk User Group Meeting that was slated for August 31 through September 4, 2020. Please also notice that the International Workshop on Smalltalk Technologies that is scheduled for September 29, 2020 is now remote.
You can monitor other future meetups and conferences, as well as any changes to their schedules on our Events page here.
The Search Is On for Our Next Amazing Team Member
Everyone is working at home for the time being, but for the talented engineers on our team, it’s always been a perk of the job. If you are a software engineer who wants to live where you want and take your rewarding career with you, then keep reading!
Opportunity: Software Engineer – Smalltalk
Cincom’s Smalltalk group is looking for a software engineer to join its global, fully distributed/ remote development team to develop and maintain Cincom Smalltalk.
Our People: We have a variety of people like Peloton riders, outdoor cyclists, photographers, coffee drinkers, tea aficionados, whisky connoisseurs, volunteers, yogis, chanters, people sailing the Seven Seas and those climbing the tallest mountains. We have happy people, people with young children, people sending children off to the next room to virtually attend university courses and folks waiting for lockdown to end so they can to travel the world and code while doing it. We are a team where you could find a friend or the other three members for your adventure race team!
- A passion for and experience with Smalltalk (Cincom Smalltalk experience a plus)
- Significant C experience
- Language design involving Smalltalk
- Experience with assembly language (possibly JIT) a plus
- A background in developing quality Smalltalk code and delivering product feature documentation
- Problem-solving skills and a can-do attitude are essential in this role
- Must be able to work individually and in a distributed team environment
- Experience with API calls and platform libraries on various operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix)
Don’t ignore this opportunity! Maybe you are happy where you are, but could you be happier by making Smalltalk an exciting part of your career path? It never hurts to check it out. Don’t be scared of change!
If you are a software engineer who might be interested in joining a product group that is ready to share Smalltalk with the world via clean code, cool campaigns and much more, please submit your resume/CV and cover letter letting us know why you want to join our team with salary requirements to Suzanne Fortman with Reference PRF 4644 in the subject line.
Where Can I Find Cincom Smalltalk Product Resources?
Whether you are new to Cincom Smalltalk or a seasoned veteran, this section will be a handy guide to the popular resources we currently have available: