[Haskell-cafe] Elevator pitch for functional programming

wren ng thornton wren at freegeek.org
Tue Jan 20 22:35:10 EST 2009

Jim Burton wrote:
> Hi, I will be a TA on a comparative PL course and I'm looking for
> small examples (ammunition) which motivate the use of Haskell and
> functional programming generally. The course is for 1st year Software
> Engineers, none of whom are likely to have used a functional
> language. They will all have experience programming Java and a little
> C++, with a few of them knowing Python, Ruby, PHP etc etc too.

It's getting to be something of an old hat these days, but one of the 
most powerful selling points I've seen for purity (and strong types) is 
QuickCheck (and SmallCheck, LazySmallCheck,...). This entire paradigm of 
testing makes writing tests trivial and can only work right for pure 

I don't know if your students are just students or if they have some 
real software engineering experience, but anyone who's hacked on Perl, 
Python, Ruby, Java, or C++ enough to earn the title would be immensely 
impressed by how purity eases debugging.

Live well,

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