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It never occurs to me that a company could be "powered" by Haskell.

In my old job, I used haskell for everything from satellital image analysis to the web frontend, but I didn't tell anyone. Specially I didn't tell my bosses.

When they discovered my functional tendencies, they were upset and worried. They feel betrayed, but it was too late. The company was an "haskell powered company".

I give them an edge over the other companies in the field, but when I leave, they were orphaned and unable to hire a new Haskell programmer (I live in Chile, a very imperative nation).

Too bad for them, but for me, it was "pure" functional fun.

It turns out that if you compile Haskell code, and deploy it with a .py extension, everyone will happily use it and no-one will actually look at it...

Ahh, remember back in the good old days when programs had .PRG extensions or file-types? Nobody cared what language a program was written in back then either, as long as it just worked.

Computers and programming don't have to be so complicated. People make them complicated.

Haha brilliant solution!

Too bad for them? Incredible. That's not a very professional attitude to have. You shouldn't choose technologies you like because as a developer it's your job to choose technologies that are right for the business.

Conversely a technology that is beneficial solely to the business presents the same situation. Your own productivity and motivation will be affected by the chosen technology, so working with something you hate with a passion isn't going to be that good for the business either.

Certainly, I couldn't have done what I did without Haskell, or with more traditional languages, like C++.

The most challenging task I've done with Haskell, was to find the right combination of parameters in orden to sum an array of satellital images, preserving a set of constrains. I couldn't have dreamed of doing that without Haskell. It was the right choice for the job.

When they discovered the tools I've used, they recognized the problem, but they treated me bad, so I search for another job.

The right tool for the job is one that will be supported by other developers after you leave.

The right tool for the job is anything that gives you the power to get shit done.

Maintainability is secondary if you can't do the job in the first place. Think about it.

I think that using Haskell in the industry is somewhat irresponsible if you live in a third world nation like Chile. You can't find haskell hackers here! You create maintainability problems!

It is clearly not my fault to be intelligent, know some haskell and live in Chile. Can you blame me?

That doesn't sound like a very good way to build a sustainable business.

I think his ability with English maybe giving the impression he was being flippant. If you remove implied meaning, it says only that "I know it was bad for the company, but I found it fun".

My point still stands.

Well, if they didn't bother to check what language/technology you were using and they didn't give you any requirements, you did the right thing.

Any competent manager should lay technology requirements/guidelines before starting any projects and maybe even keep an eye on the codebase if he/she has any coding skills... You happened to work for incompetent people, and you just taught them a lesson about their own incompetence. Thumbs up!

This looks to me as a cautionary tale that warns against using haskell in a company.

It sounds more like a tale of an employee writing software in a language that the management didn't buy into and no one else in the company knows. If one of our employees started writing code in <some other language> instead of Haskell we'd have a similar problem.

Good job!

They'll probably waste the next 0-3 years rewriting your shit and you have made another company and several suits hate Haskell. The suits talk to each other, you know.

"Hey, we had this developer working here making serious stuff. And you know what? Nobody ever cared to look into what he had going."

Maybe there was a basic expectation that he would use what the rest of the company was using and suggest it if he needed to go off the trodden path. To assume otherwise would be micromanaging.

Is Haskell taught in college at any Chilean university? Without it being taught to undergrads, it will be hard to find devs locally.

No, it's totally unknown here in Chile. Even professors don't know anything about a language named Haskell.

that's not true! the dynamic languages group (a meetup.com-organised thing - perhaps started by continuum? - here in santiago) had at least one talk on it - i know because i was there! although i admit i don't think anyone said they were using it in production...

[and the last conversation i had with someone from u chile's computing dept was on datalog. so it's hard to imagine they wouldn't know about something as popular as haskell. and a friend in the engineering/geophysics dept (don't know the correct name - contract research for mines) uses it. and...]

"... it's totally unknown here in Chile. ..."

Out of curiosity, how did you learn Haskell?

I was not confortable with D and C++, and I was curious about Haskell.

Is it confidential to say which company you're talking about? I also live and work in Chile and I almost always get blank looks from people when I mention Haskell.


Hey -- I've been doing some work in a related area, and would love to hear more about how you're using Haskell (my stack is centered around Python).

If you're able to chat, please drop me a line: sakaiminomoto@gmail.com


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