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"I think we're moving in a very positive direction"β€” Noon van der Silk

Hello World!

Well-known hacker is sitting in front of a quantum computer; he is just about to start programming. The terminal is open, waits for the first line of code. Which language will he uses, why, and how? And guess who this hacΠ»ΡƒΠΊ is? ;)

Welcome our lovely speaker Noon van der Silk! He will rock on the 10th of September at the Haskell Love Conference! You'd better join at 12.40 CEST!

Meanwhile, let's enjoy his interview and his incredible intro video!

Noon is a software engineer with a broad range of experience across AI, quantum computing, functional programming, and creative projects. He is passionate about learning new things, empathetic and trust-based leadership, and supporting companies to achieve their aims through thoughtful and flexible technology. In his spare time, Noon likes to explore, read, and collaborate on creative projects!

For people who work in Haskell, what Library do you desperately want someone to write?

I think one thing I find exciting about the Haskell ecosystem is that I find that people are able to think up libraries that I would never conceive of, and then demonstrate their usage so effectively that it ends up becoming something I use every day!
That said, I'd probably love some cool libraries related to profiling/debugging or otherwise understanding the runtime characteristics of Haskell programs in a really interactive and powerful way. I think there’s heaps of work to do here, in terms of technical compiler aspects but also interactive UI/debugging aspects.

What would, in your opinion, be a Haskell β€œkiller application”?

I find the β€œkiller application” language a bit too competitive-sounding for my taste; I believe most of us agree that things work best with lots of different people tackling problems in a variety of ways, and then coming together to improve things overall; as opposed to killing off the competition.
One thing I find that Haskell helps me do very well is plan my thoughts about what I want to build. I think I would love if this more general planning process could become more a part of the language, somehow. One way this manifests is via a richer type system; but another way could simply be through better tooling and libraries; and perhaps just wacky ideas that we haven't even seen yet.

What would be your favourite piece of Haskell-branded clothing?

Well, biasedly, I've actually already made my own Haskell-branded clothing! So that's probably my favourite. Outside of that, I'd certainly wear a matching Haskell tracksuit combination.

State of Haskell Survey results in 2020 shows that the number of developers who use Hackage vs. Stackage is almost the same. Which one do you use, why?

Both! I love Stack; I use it for all my personal projects.

96% of respondents of the State of Haskell Survey said they code as a hobby, do you? Is that for an open source project?

Yes definitely. It’s how I got into Haskell in the first place; through making some really nice friends and connections with my local Haskell meetup group!

If you wanted to convince someone to use Haskell, what would you say?

Probably I would repeat my β€œtool for thought” idea above; namely that it’s an interesting way to force yourself to think about what you want to write.

If you could change one thing about Haskell, what would it be?

Overall I think I love how Haskell has developed over the years and I have no big concerns. I might echo Dmitrii’s thoughts and hope that as a community we can move towards making all kinds of people feel welcome, and not valorise certain kinds of technical knowledge but also communitarian knowledge! I think we're moving in a very positive direction with the establishment of the Haskell Foundation, on this front.

Noon and many other fabulous speakers will be performing for you on the 10th of September, moreover you will have a great chance to discuss all your questions during the "live" Q&A in SpatilChat!
Move your bubble closer ;)

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