Since my last postcard I have been traveling around the world talking about the Next Generation Process -- which actually is not about process but about practices.
I have been meeting customers and given seminars in San Francisco, Seoul, Beijing, Taipei, Tokyo, Boston, New York, Jacksonville, London and now I am in Stockholm for a few days. When I see that people need a break from technical stuff in my sessions, I usually give them a break.
Sometimes I ask the audience if they know where object-orientation and components were born. Which was the very first object-oriented programming language ever designed? Usually, I get some mumbling as an answer so then I go on saying: OK, I will teach you some geography and history :-).
Up there in the north (I point in some direction which is not very precise), there is a large, beautiful country that looks like a rectangle called Sweden. To the west of Sweden is a tiny, totally uninteresting country called Norway :-). It is unbelievable but the first OO language was born in Norway (created by Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard). It was in 1967 and the language was Simula. Simula had everything important about OO that you find today in for example Java.
At the very same time, in Sweden, components were born. Everything important about components and component-based development was used in the Ericsson AXE system. The software component idea was my first baby. Thus it is not true that Microsoft and Bill Gates invented software components.
The problem was that we in Sweden didn’t know what our neighbors were doing. Even if the geographical distance between Sweden and Norway is small, the intellectual distance is huge :-). In the minds of Swedes, nothing of intellectual value can come out of Norway. Swedes are even surprised that Norwegians have the capacity to have the reverse opinion :-).
South of Norway is another tiny, totally uninteresting country called … and I hope for an answer…yes, Denmark. Do you know what came out of Denmark? Do you know who the father of C++ was? Yes, Bjarne Stroustrop. Bjarne had studied Simula and when he joined ATT in the US he made C look like Simula and called it C++ :-).
Then, we have another country to the east of Sweden called … yes, Finland. Do you know what came out of Finland? Nokia? More? Linux, yes. Do you know who the father of Linux was. No? Linus Torvalds. In Finland about 5% of the habitants have Swedish as their mother-tongue. Linus is Finnish-Swedish :-).
Anyway, you may wonder why I tell you all this? Well, I want to point out that everything important about software was not born in the US :-). However, if you want to make money from it, you have to make the leap over the pond to the US! :-)