[Haskell-cafe] How Albus Dumbledore would sell Haskell

R Hayes rfhayes at reillyhayes.com
Wed Apr 18 17:42:54 EDT 2007

In general, problems that would lose millions of dollars are noticed  
very quickly.  Quants are constantly analyzing the sources of  
shortfall in implementing strategies.  Also, time to market is  
generally more important than correctness.  It's much better to have  
a strategy that mostly works sooner than a strategy that's perfect  
later.  The opportunities to extract alpha from the market decay as  
more people see them (it is a zero sum game after all).  Most of this  
technology has a lot in common with a Formula 1 race car: you can't  
win the race with a car that doesn't risk breaking down halfway  
through the race.  Of course, there are exceptions (risk systems,  
systems that handle client orders, etc).  The interest I've seen in  
Haskell and ML in the quant world has been driven by expressiveness.

On Apr 18, 2007, at 1:47 PM, Seth Gordon wrote:

> Paul Johnson wrote:
>>> You cannot win over the entrepreneur with promises of "easier and  
>>> more
>>> robust". This translates to "anyone can do it" and the valuable  
>>> "trade
>>> secret" of arcane wizardry is now devalued.
>> I suggest reading extracts from "Beating the Averages" by Paul  
>> Graham.
>> Then explain that Graham only wrote in Lisp because his university
>> didn't teach Haskell.
> I think a more powerful argument would be to talk about cases where
> Haskell is *actually being used* industrially.  E.g., "these folks at
> Credit Suisse are using Haskell for their analytics because in their
> line of work, if the implementation of the code doesn't match up
> perfectly with the spec, their employer could lose millions of  
> dollars,
> and the programmers might not notice the bug until those millions were
> long gone".
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