Learning Haskell


Since my first baby steps in the world of Functional Programming, Haskell has been there. Like the enchanting music of a Siren, it has been luring me with promises of a new set of skills and a better understanding of the lambda calculus.

I refused to oblige at first. A bit of Scheme and my eventual move to Clojure occupied my mind and my daily activities. Truth be told, the odious warfare between dynamic types troopers and static types zealots didn’t help steering my enthusiasm towards Haskell.

Still, my curiosity is stoic and hard to kill and the Haskell Siren was becoming too tempting to resist any further. The Pragmatic Programmer in me knew it was the right thing to do. My knowledge portfolio is always reaching out for something new.

My journey began with the much praised Programming in Haskell. I kept track of the exercises only to soon discover this wasn’t the right book for me. A bit too terse and schematic, I needed something that could ease me in in a different way. I needed more focus on the basics, the roots of the language.

As I usually do, I sought help online. I don’t know many Haskell developers, but I know there are crazy guys in the Emacs community. Steve Purcell was kind and patient enough to introduce me to Haskell Programming From First Principles.

This is a huge book (nearly 1300 pages), but it just took the authors’ prefaces to hook me. Julie Moronuki words in particular resonated heavily with me. Unlike Julie I have experience in programming, but I felt exactly like her when it comes to approaching Haskell teaching materials.

So here I am, armed with Stack and Intero and ready to abandon myself to the depths and wonders of static typing and pure functional programming. I will track my progress and maybe report back here. I already have a project in mind, but my Haskell needs to get really good before starting any serious work.

May the lambda be with me.