[plt-dev] number of HtDP graduates

From: Geoffrey S. Knauth (geoff at knauth.org)
Date: Mon Oct 12 05:50:00 EDT 2009

On Oct 11, 2009, at 21:22, Neil Van Dyke wrote:

> The other day, when I was extolling the merits of Scheme for agile  
> commercial use, someone (predictably) responded that finding Scheme  
> programmers was too difficult.
> I'm thinking it might be helpful to have a counter on the plt-scheme  
> home page of estimated number of students who've been through HtDP.
> Like number of Big Macs served, or the US national debt, only  
> desirable.

The number of Scheme programmers may be smaller, but Scheme  
programmers have passion, and passion is what moves the ball forward.

On the other hand, I've worked in <foo>-only houses (foo is C++ or  
Java or whatever), where management would respond that what moves the  
ball forward is not passion, but planning, management, project  
tracking, Sigma-6, ...

There is a tension between freedom (expressiveness) and management.   
In successful projects, sometimes programmers have the bright ideas  
and impress or even hire management, and sometimes managers have the  
bright ideas and hire programmers.

HtDP brings discipline to the wild and crazy coders without tying  
their hands.  They learn they win in the end by developing the habit  
of thinking first.

PLT has done incredible work to make a platform that is well- 
engineered and flexible enough for multiple development styles in the  
spectrum of development cultures.  In time, there will be more great  
applications coded in Scheme that will attract attention, especially  
as the world moves to multicore architectures.

A count of HtDP graduates is a great idea, but the market will also  
want to know where to find them.

Posted on the dev mailing list.