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Re: [Haskell-cafe] Maintaining the community

Subject: Re: [Haskell-cafe] Maintaining the community
From: "Thomas Conway"
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2007 10:18:35 +1000
On 7/16/07, Malcolm Wallace <Malcolm.Wallace@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

OK, so I'm not genuinely suggesting that you must possess or be studying
for a PhD, to grok Haskell.  But I find nothing alarming about the
suggestion that one needs a fairly high level of intelligence, and some
training, in order to be able to use Haskell effectively.

When I was a teenager I thought people with PhDs were minor deities.
Having done one, and knowing lots of people with them, I can tell you,
the vast majority of people with a PhD (including me)  have merely
above average intelligence. A PhD is not a mark of intelligence. It's
a mark of persistence. (Shall we say obsession?)

I think Malcolm's analogy to other professions is quite apt. If we
expect to be taken seriously as professionals, it would be
unsurprising to find that we need to engage in some strenuous [mental]
effort to acquire the skills.

And this is where I think Haskell has it all over C++, Java, and the
rest. Haskell is easy to learn at a simple level, and hard to learn at
the expert level, but once learned is very powerful and has excellent
payoffs in terms of productivity. With C++ or Java, the expertise is
somewhat easier to acquire, but you never get the payoff. And before
you all flame, yes, I do know C++ at an expert level, and that is
exactly why, after 7 years of writing server software in C++, I now
want to do it in Haskell.

Dr Thomas Conway

Silence is the perfectest herald of joy:
I were but little happy, if I could say how much.
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