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The main language that I use at the moment is C# and I am the most comfortable with it. However, I have started dabbling in F# and Haskell and really enjoy those langauges. I would love to improve my skills in either of those languages over time since it truly is fun for me to use them (as opposed to Ruby, which is hyped as "fun", I just don't get where the fun is, but I digress...). My question is directed at those who have hired/interviewed for programming positions (junior/mid-level): if you see a functional programming language on a resume, does it affect your opinion (whether positive or negatively) of that candidate?

My rationale for knowledge of functional programming affecting the view of a candidate is because it can show that the candidate can adapt to different methodologies and take a mulit-dimensional approach to problems rather than the "same old OO approach". (This may be off-base, please let me know if this assumption is as well!)

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closed as not constructive by Walter, Yannis Rizos Mar 7 '12 at 17:07

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When I applied to my current position, I put Lisp on my resume because I had used it extensively during my master's program. Later my boss told me that after seeing Lisp he immediately put my resume in the "short pile." So it directly helped me get an interview even though the position doesn't require any knowledge of functional programming. –  ckb May 2 '13 at 14:51
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4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

I was the technical guy helping with interviews for C# / ASP.NET developers recently, and I can tell you that if any of them were dabbling with functional languages - or indeed anything clearly removed from their work experience - that it would have earned them a definite tick from me. I think there's a huge correlation between enjoying learning and dabbling with new things and being one of the upper echelon of naturally talented programmers.

Specifically to functional programming: I think LINQ is one of the most significant additions to the C# language, we use it heavily, and while it doesn't come naturally to everyone, I can't imagine anyone with functional experience finding it difficult to work with.

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That's good to know! I absolutely LOVE LINQ and since I have been learning functional programming I have shifted from the SQL-Like queries and moved towards using Lambda expressions. –  Jetti Nov 24 '10 at 23:03
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@Jetti - yep I much prefer the Lambda approach too. Also, there's something about the SQL-style queries that makes me make the classic "= where I meant ==" error, I guess my fingers think they're writing TSQL not C#. :-) –  Carson63000 Nov 25 '10 at 0:39
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Knowing the functional paradigm makes you a better programmer. Dabbling in languages like Haskell shows that you're interested in having more than one instrument in your mental toolbox.

That should have a concrete boost in your attractiveness as a hire. (If it doesn't, I wouldn't be interested in working for that company.)

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+1 for second paragraph –  Larry Coleman Nov 24 '10 at 17:21
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My personal view (no experience in the matter) would be that it would depend on the job you are interviewing for and if it depends on having specific experience in a language paradigm. If you're interviewing for a Java role (or C# in your case), they wouldn't hire you for your functional programming skills and vice versa. However, if you're going for a programming role and you can program multiple languages, that can only be seen as a good sign, i.e. you are a good computer scientist with a broad range of experience.

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Absolutely. Industry are now crying out for F# programmers and are willing to pay top-dollar. Note that this is no different from other upcoming technologies like LINQ, TPL, Silverlight etc.

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Could you provide a link or list of companies that are hiring F# programmers? The only one I really know for sure is Credit Suisse and that was only because Don Syme put it on his blog. –  Jetti Dec 27 '10 at 14:45
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