[erlang-questions] Convincing industry to use Erlang

Alain O'Dea <>
Sat Nov 27 14:34:44 CET 2010


Joe, I love how you can condense whole books on contracting down to a
few paragraphs :)

I took a similar approach with http://verafin.com/.  Though it was an
internal project, there was already a VisualBasic CMS in place that
was "perfectly serviceable".  I had to prototype a solution to make
the problem with the status quo visible.

I installed Zotonic, loaded the content from the old CMS and
implemented some key interactions the other CMS was making hard in a
single day.  I showed it to the team: as soon as they saw the radical
speed difference (5-10x faster page loads), the CMS interface, the new
interactions and realized that all this was done in a day they were
sold.


On Saturday, November 27, 2010, Joe Armstrong <> wrote:
> As soon as you know *anything* about the requirements of the system
> start building
> a prototype - show the customer the prototype.
>
> At the next meeting say "I don't really know what your problem is but
> I've built a little
> prototype to test my understanding ..."
>
> Do not tell them "your problem is easy" (never, never, never (even if
> it is), this is
> always perceived as an insult)
>
> Offer the customer a fixed price, fixed delivery time, pre-development
> prototype.
> The cost of this should be less than the cost of making a requirements
> specification.
>
> Do not make an offer for the final product - say "I cannot I do not
> know enough" -
>
> Try to deliver a working prototype within three weeks - even if they
> don't pay - do it anyway.
>
> Assume you will land the project and start working on it today.
>
> Don't sell the final product - but the next step - which should be
> small understandable, cheap
> and quickly delivered. Tell them this is "agile" and you are a "scrum
> master" - they will love this
> you don't have to know what the words mean - these are just magic
> words that need to be said.
>
> Do not use words like "functional" "proof" etc. these have bad karma.
>
> Start building the prototype as soon as you read this mail.
>
> This approach has worked many times.
>
> You're selling time-to-market and low-development costs - they will be
> skeptical - you
> will do this with 10% of the effort needed for Java/C++ - but they
> will not believe you. So
> go do it ...
>
> Cheers, and congratulations on landing the project :-)
>
> /Joe
>
>
> On Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 8:59 PM, Paulo Alexandre Ferreira
> <> wrote:
>>
>>
>> You better not try to sell  Erlang, or any language to managers.
>>
>>
>> You should try  selling a reliable, robust, fault-tolerant, code verified  system.
>> You will do code upgrades without stopping the system.
>> You can offer proofs the system is correct.
>>
>>
>> They don't want Erlang.  They don't care about Erlang.
>>
>> You will use Erlang to build the system they want.
>>
>> The advantages of language X,Y or Z are the stuff programmers care about.
>> Managers care about  different things like  costs, down-time, reliability.
>> Focus on that.
>>
>>
>> My apologies if I sound  a little bit grumpy.
>>
>> Paulo Ferreira
>>
>>
>>
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