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Avi Press: Why Haskell is a Terrible Choice for Startups (And Why We Picked It Anyway)

Avi Press is a developer tool author, functional programming language enthusiast, and founder/CEO of Scarf. Avi loves thinking about and discussing how people can solve problems by more effectively sharing data, and how that applies to building a sustainable open-source ecosystem. He is also a host on the Hacking Open Source Business Podcast.

Why Haskell is a Terrible Choice for Startups (And Why We Picked It Anyway)

Welcome to the comedy of errors that is our tale of four tumultuous, yet rewarding, years deploying Haskell in a production environment at Scarf, the startup boldly picking the 'worst' tool for the job. We'll guide you through the seemingly endless compile times, the global scavenger hunt for Haskell-savvy engineers, and our daunting dance with an unpredictable library ecosystem and the ever-elusive backward compatibility.

Yet amid these lighthearted lamentations, you'll find the paradoxical perks of our 'terrible' choice: the dexterity with which we refactor code, the talented global pool of Haskell engineers we connected with, and the unexpected fun Haskell brought into our workdays.

In this talk, prepare to laugh, learn, and question our sanity. We offer a humor-laced, balanced view on Haskell's attributes and afflictions, providing anyone brave enough to consider Haskell for their startup with a valuable, if whimsical, survival guide.


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