[erlang-questions] Erlang for managers

Garrett Smith g@REDACTED
Fri Feb 26 22:39:23 CET 2016

Great answers all, esp the insight that such questions are often charged
with fascinating back stories!

To Jesper's point, Mike Williams has a relatively unique voice in this
discussion, having been there from the very start and battled through large
company culture up to his retirement a few years ago.

This presentation is well worth the time and I'd recommend it as a resource
within your org:


On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 2:25 PM Martin Hässler <mhssler@REDACTED> wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 1:42 PM, Nathaniel Waisbrot
> <nathaniel@REDACTED> wrote:
> > > On Feb 26, 2016, at 7:12 AM, Mahesh Paolini-Subramanya
> > > <mahesh@REDACTED> wrote:
> > >
> > > Slightly off-tangent, but you might want to first consider why your
> > > manager asked you for this, and tailor your answer appropriately :-)
> >
> > A good point. In my experience, this question is often based on the
> > worry that if you use Erlang you won't be able to hire any
> > developers. I haven't heard many satisfying answers to this, either.
> Yes, that is right. She had heard that another part of the company
> which also uses Erlang/OTP said that they only wanted Erlang
> programmers. That caused some concern among the management as the
> company has thousands of highly experienced C++ developers but very
> few available Erlang developers.
> I got a bit shocked about this as our (Erlang) team's main recruitment
> focus is to find great developers who are eager to learn and not
> afraid to talk to the end users. It is also good if the new developers
> have some domain experience. Prior Erlang knowledge is not important
> at all in a team who already has long Erlang experience.
> My guess why the other group only ask for Erlang programmers is a
> combination of two things: Paul Graham's selection process and that
> they already have a lot experienced C++ programmers who need
> guidance.
> I think it is a good sign that my manager is interested to know more and
> this thread has been great input for me. Thank you all!
> > Fairly well-known is http://paulgraham.com/pypar.html where Paul
> > Graham suggests that hiring for a more esoteric language mostly
> > filters out candidates that you wouldn't want to hire anyway. That
> > seems to work better as a justification after making the choice,
> > rather than an argument in favor of picking a language.
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