[Haskell-cafe] Re: Haskell in Industry
wren ng thornton
wren at freegeek.org
Tue Aug 10 14:56:06 EDT 2010
Henning Thielemann wrote:
> about functional programming jobs in investment banking ...
> Ketil Malde schrieb:
>> Tom Hawkins <tomahawkins at gmail.com> writes:
>>> (Yes, I realize that's were the money is [...])
>> I don't think this is bad: having talented people recruited to work
>> on functional programming will improve the technology for all of us.
> I'm not sure I follow this opinion in general. Analogously I could say:
> Supporting military is a good idea, since they invest in new
> technologies. That's not my opinion. Maybe the next financial crisis
> leads us into the next world war.
But that analogy is a bit disingenuous. If investment bankers care so
much about performance (because a few milliseconds delay in transactions
can cost a lot) then getting a lot of talented functional programmers in
finance means there will be a good deal of work in figuring out how to
improve performance. Thus, anyone who wants performance will benefit
directly; regardless of attendant outcomes.
While the military invests in technology, they invest mainly in
technology that advances a particular goal. Thus, it's good for them to
have smart people if you would like improvements to that particular kind
of technology. (Which includes the Internet and natural language
processing ---for very militaristic reasons, both of them---, as well as
the obvious.) Investment banking isn't likely to lead to improvements in
zygohistomorphic prepromorphisms. If that's where you think we need to
be improving our technology, then having smart people in investment
banking doesn't help. But that's a different claim than the claim that
they'd improve performance or overall acceptance in the job market.
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