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8. Haskell > Spreading (Functional) Education

Spreading (Functional) Education

What have you learned teaching programming to college students?

Paul: For many years, and perhaps even so today, functional languages were found mainly in introductory classes, because they are easy to learn and abstract away from the many details of imperative computation. I now think that, in the long run, this may have been a mistake! The reason is that students quickly conclude that FLs are toy languages, since, after all, they were used in their intro classes, mostly on toy examples. And once they discover the “power” of side effects, many of them never turn back. What a shame!

It seems to me that the best things about FP aren’t often appreciated by beginners. It’s only after you’ve programmed for a while that the benefits become apparent.


  

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