[Haskell] Haskell as a disruptive technology?

J lambda at 10k.org
Sun Mar 26 18:17:33 EST 2006

> Bear in mind that this market may well not use software at present, or it may 
> be using computers in a way that is not thought of as "programming".  For 
> example they may be using horribly complex Excel macros to do stuff.  The 
> current pain point may actually be reliability and verification rather than 
> development cost.  They probably think that hiring programmers to solve their 
> problems is beyond their budget, and attempts to sell them a conventional 
> development contract will fail to even get a hearing.

Paul, very interesting reflections! There are a lot of small businesses 
that could benefit from those type of software to automate their existing 
workflow. Like you have pointed out, some are already utilizing excel 
macros and off the shelf packages, hence the popularity of microsoft 

Although this trend minimizes a business's competitive advantage, as 
people are now forced to work in the framework of the software instead of 
their more efficient natural business operation model; interestingly 
enough, it has the benefit of making the task performer interchangable 
(e.g. Hiring someone who already knows how to use QuickBooks from a 
previous job). Recall the earlier remark about : "support and maintenance. 
Those bright developers may not be around in the long term"? By using 
_generic_ software, software maintainence is transformed into staff 
maintainence. From a manager's perspective, this is a much much more 
tractable domain. Programming job postings nowadays are laden with 
buzzwords, a trademark of genericity, instead of simply saying, one bright 
developer please.

It is conceivable that this cycle is self fullfilling as bright developers 
are far and few. In addition, even with bright developers, their software 
creations, no matter how provably correct, are still sub-turing. A 
$10/hour intern can not only correct bad user inputs but also make you 
coffee. Hence, I feel this is just as much a social issue as a 
technological one.


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