UT Lisp Users Group?

Daniel C. dcrookston at gmail.com
Tue Jul 12 22:12:29 MDT 2005

On 7/12/05, Michael Halcrow <mike at halcrow.us> wrote:
> I heard a quote from the head of a small and successful tech company
> in Austin. It went something like:
> ``Every so often I look in the job ads to get a scoop on the local
> competition. Whenever I find an ad requiring C, C++, or Java
> experience, I can entirely dismiss the company as any kind of
> potential threat. When I see Perl, Python, or Ruby, then I keep my eye
> on those companies. But when I see a requirement for LISP experience,
> then I really know that I had better watch out for that competitor.''
> Mike

That company wasn't in Austin, it was on the east coast, and the quote
is from Paul Graham in his article Beating the Averages

During the years we worked on Viaweb I read a lot of job descriptions.
A new competitor seemed to emerge out of the woodwork every month or
so. The first thing I would do, after checking to see if they had a
live online demo, was look at their job listings. After a couple years
of this I could tell which companies to worry about and which not to.
The more of an IT flavor the job descriptions had, the less dangerous
the company was. The safest kind were the ones that wanted Oracle
experience. You never had to worry about those. You were also safe if
they said they wanted C++ or Java developers. If they wanted Perl or
Python programmers, that would be a bit frightening-- that's starting
to sound like a company where the technical side, at least, is run by
real hackers. If I had ever seen a job posting looking for Lisp
hackers, I would have been really worried.

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