Demand for Smalltalk training is soaring, according to Bloomsbury Software, UK distributor and value added reseller for IBM VisualAge Smalltalk.
"We saw an explosion towards the end of 1996," said managing director, Peter Day. "We did more training in November and December than we did in the other 10 months of the year put together."
He added: "Corporates are crying out for Smalltalk developers. On the Net, people are offering to organise US visas and green cards for top rate guys." Day added that Smalltalk consultants can generally start out at #50 an hour. "It is relatively easy to earn #1,500 per week."
Day attributes the renewed interest in the Smalltalk language to the growing number of companies who have started pilot projects or who are anticipating changes to their development environment. For instance, Day explained: "Some changes are coming about because third party tools suppliers are moving to Smalltalk so developers using these tools need to learn the language.
"People are becoming aware of Smalltalk's productivity," Day added. Norwich Union and Abbey National General insurance are adopting VisualAge for Smalltalk and Legal & General and British Steel are embarking on pilot projects.
He pointed out that Chubb & Sons are gearing up to implement their US-developed Smalltalk applications in Europe. Chubb experienced a sixfold increase in productivity since using Smalltalk.
Another factor contributing to the renewed interest in Smalltalk has been the success of Java, Day said.
"People are starting to use Java for corporate applications. They are beginning to see the similarity between Smalltalk and Java. Both are based on virtual machines and both are object oriented."
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