Umair’s blog

Thoughts about programming and technology

→ Why Racket? Why Lisp?

A slightly older (from Aug 2014), but nonetheless great post by Matthew Butterick where he enumerates the benefits of learning to program in Lisp (or one of its dialects). Several very smart folks have written about the awesomeness of Lisp, but this is the first post I have read that provides a list of concrete examples of said benefits:

I was hope­ful when I opened Pe­ter Seibel’s Prac­ti­cal Com­mon Lisp and saw that the in­tro­duc­tion was sub­ti­tled “Why Lisp?” Yes, tell me! Seibel echoes Gra­ham’s claim: “You’ll get more done, faster, us­ing [Lisp] than you would us­ing pretty much any other lan­guage.” OK, but how? Seibel won­ders whether “I like Lisp be­cause of some quirk in the way my brain is wired. It could even be ge­netic, since my dad has it too.” That’s not en­cour­ag­ing to those of us out­side your fam­ily. Ul­ti­mately, he sums up the ap­peal of Lisp by de­scrib­ing it as “the pro­gram­ma­ble pro­gram­ming lan­guage.” But I’ve never used a pro­gram­ma­ble pro­gram­ming lan­guage. Why should I start?

And by the way, when do I get the speed and power you keep promising?

In short—what’s in it for me, now?