Thursday, 11 March 2010

Ron Garret on Lisp at Google

Former Google employee, Ron Garret, wrote a fascinating article describing the rise and rise of Lisp in his life but the reasons why Lisp failed to make serious inroads at Google in the early 2000s.

"My colleagues were using C (K&R in those days) or Pascal. C++, Perl, Java, Python, etc. didn't exist. When all those modern languages are out of the picture, Lisp rocks. I mean it just blows everything else clean out of the water. With a secret weapon like Lisp in my arsenal in 1986 I could blow my competition out of the water with one hand tied behind my back and holding a martini in the other." - Ron Garret, Google.

Peter Norvig of Google referred to Ron Garret's statements in a recent Reddit video interview.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

The Lisp job market

The IT Jobs Watch website does an excellent job of trending aspects of the UK job market for programmers over time for different programming languages, including Lisp. The results are very interesting:

  • Demand for Lisp programmers remains constant at a level only recently reached by other functional languages such as OCaml and Haskell.
  • Typical salaries for Lisp programmers has increased dramatically over the past four years, from only £32k in 2004 to £57k now.

Moreover, the range of salaries for Lisp developers is substantially higher than all mainstream languages: £53-61k compared to only £38-45k for C# and £42-52k for Java. As we predicted last year, this trend is driven by employers using programming language diversity as a way to identify superior candidates and this trend is driving more and more young developers to better their programming abilities and job prospects by learning advanced languages like Lisp.

We believe this trend will continue for several years to come.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

CLisp overtakes SBCL as Linux' favorite Common Lisp implementation

Now with 2,084 registered installs, CLisp has overtaken SBCL (with 1,656 installs) to become the most popular Common Lisp implementation on Linux.

This makes Lisp one of the most popular functional programming languages in the world!

Most popular application written in Common Lisp is: Maxima

With 7,346 registered installs according to the Debian and Ubuntu package popularity contests, Maxima is the most popular application written in Common Lisp.

Maxima is a system for the manipulation of symbolic and numerical expressions, including differentiation, integration, Taylor series, Laplace transforms, ordinary differential equations, systems of linear equations, polynomials, and sets, lists, vectors, matrices, and tensors.

Lisp in industry

Peter Christensen’s has kindly compiled an up-to-date list of over 40 companies using Lisp around the world.