Sure, Smalltalk is a great language to know.. if only to understand some of CS history. But it is a horrendous technology to use today, or for the past 10 years. I speak from experience. I've worked with Java and Smalltalk as a professional, and the Smalltalk experience pales into insignificance. The tools just haven't kept up with the crazy pace of technological evolution. The Smalltalk "IDE" I had to use professionally was Cincom's. I couldn't believe how primitive, clunky and programmer-hostile that system was (if you've ever spent a few years with any Java IDE). Since working professionally with Smalltalk, I've also kept an eye on the marketplace for the skill.. in Belgium (which is a small sample, I agree), the demand is very, very close to non-existent. I only know of two companies that still cling on to it, against all rational arguments.