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In article <ak3icc$stl$1 / grapevine.wam.umd.edu>,
William Djaja Tjokroaminata  <billtj / y.glue.umd.edu> wrote:
>Very well said, Charles.  I completely agree with you.
>
>That's why I really hesitate to start learning Haskell.  It seems Haskell
>can only be interfaced with C through some intermediary called "Greed
>Card" and not directly as between C and Ruby.  Also one of my colleages
>here is learning Scheme.  I still cannot persuade myself to learn Haskell
>in particular (why not Scheme, or even Emacs Lisp, which will make my 
>editor do all the wonderful things?) or a functional language in general.
>
>Regards,
>
>Bill
>========================================================================
>Charles Shannon Hendrix <csh_hatespam / widomaker.com> wrote:
>> (deleted)
>
>> I used to be where you are, but now I generally have to feel like a 
>> language will help me get work done before I can spend time on it.
>

- - Well, two years ago I would have been right with you. Why spend
  time on learning something new, I'll pick it up fast enough if
  I need to. I was very bored and disatisfied at work. Something
  was definitely wrong. I started looking back at how I got
  sucked into this whole computer thing and I realized that it
  was because I liked learning new things. In the job world it's
  easy to get in a rut, after all once you've climbed the
  learning curve a few times you rarely get that much out of
  repeating the process. 

- - However, I thought about it a lot and I resolved that I would
  spend at least one afternoon a week on "playing",
  i.e. exploring new tools and languages regardless
  of whether they would be useful or not. I eventually poked
  around with Ruby and from there got lead to the book 
  "The Pragmatic Programmer". That book definitely put me
  in touch with why I drifted into computers to begin with. 
  The first few chapters are actually kind of depressing,
  it's a sad commentary on the computer industry that people
  actually have to be told to do some of the very basics,
  but I found the rest of the book to be very inspirational.
  It reminded me of how I should be doing things,
  "Quality is Important". I also reread "Zen and the Art of
  Motorcycle Maintainance" at about the same time. It really
  drove home the point to me that I would never be satisfied
  with computers until I could feel that I was doing quality
  work and not just "yet another awful hack". 

- - IMHO, if you program for a living and your job doesn't allow
  you the time and space to try things "just for the heck of it".
  It's time to get a new job. Working with computers can
  easily turn into depressing grunt work even with a 6 figure
  salary. 

- - I think learning a functional language is a useful thing to
  do, at least read some of the original papers. I actually get
  a lot more out of reading the design papers than twiddling the
  bits, but you have to do enough bit twiddling to really get
  the papers. I came to the realization that Ruby is many ways
  a functional language. 

- - Lastly, read "The Pragmatic Programmer" if you haven't and 
  try and stick with it to the later chapters. 

- - Booker C. Bense  
  

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