"you can't teach people what aspirin is for until they've had a headache" Steven Wittens

Steven’s post is titled “On Headaches and Aspirin” and talks a lot about the programming model we find ourselves in today, including this great phrase:

you can’t teach people what aspirin is for until they’ve had a headache

The other statement that stands out:

What’s more, we have entered an age where programming is slowly but surely getting over its teenage infatuations. Functional programming has won. Lambdas and pure data are now topics you need to have mastered before you can call yourself properly senior. Though it’ll take a while before that revolution is equally televised everywhere.

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Given that Steven is one of the smartest people I know when it comes to programming, and @expede is another one, this pointer towards functional programming is very much what I believe as well.

I’m starting to get questions from business people about the value of functional programming, and also seeing teams dabble with TypeScript and Elm to “solve” problems with front end.

Even given that, it means that we’re likely 5+ years away from this being broadly obvious.

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Yeah, I’d put it in that range as well. It’s very much unevenly distributed.

Related: I saw a talk where they estimated that it takes roughly18 years(!) for a PL idea to go from being introduced (e.g. in research) to being standard use. If you want to look 10 years in the future, the places to mine are Haskell and Racket (and associated ecosystems, e.g. Idris, Agda, &c).

This has come as somewhat a surprise to me. I know know of two local (Vancouver) companies adopting Elm in production. Once again showing that the flywheel is real, and tech being “inevitable” and/or “obvious” still has to slowly pick up steam to get adopted.

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