[racket] Racket helped me get a job

From: Geoffrey S. Knauth (geoff at knauth.org)
Date: Wed Jan 4 07:44:55 EST 2012

== I was writing this to a G+ friend trying out Racket, and I figured I'd share it with you:

I have to make another comment about Racket, which I haven't even shared with the Racket community yet. Just before Christmas I had an all-day series of job interviews at a local AI company. I thought I should show them something more than just the presentation they asked for, but I wasn't sure what I should do, especially since they do a lot of their development in Java. I decided I would throw together a new program in Racket that would help me in my capacity as a Civil Air Patrol pilot, something that might help with Wing logistics and decision-making when missions come up and resources are scarce. The day before the interview I threw together some functions based on some data I'd gathered, ran my tests, made some enhancements, and walked into the interview trying not to hold my breath. To my surprise, my audience during the show-and-tell phase, which included everyone in the company, was very receptive and the session was more interactive than I expected. I even made an unintentional live coding error [oops] that the president of the company spotted and corrected. Someone in management said, "You're the first person to give a live code demonstration, that's pretty daring." The funny thing was, it wasn't daring to me, it just felt a lot more fun and useful than making a PowerPoint. The next week, a manager said the [recent-undergraduate Java-only] programmers at the company were concerned, "We're not sure he even likes to program in Java," to which I responded that one can program well in any language, given the right attitude, but I tend to write my own programs in Racket because it is so fun and productive. Those same programmers were also concerned because I knew "too many languages." Well, they're young still, what can I say. Anyway, management understood me, was happy, and I got the job, which initially is doing natural language R&D [as in http://www.nlp-class.org/ ].

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