The Uncommon Advantage from Training in Unpopular Programming Languages

At Stack Builders, our mission is to push the boundaries of the software industry through quality, pragmatic solutions that bring to life our clients' vision. One of the ways that we invest in our team to ensure alignment with this mission is to have all of our full-time engineers complete an approximately 50-hour training course in the Haskell language early in their career at Stack Builders.


Haskell is the 40th most popular language in terms of skilled developers worldwide in the TIOBE index, with only about 0.31% of developers skilled in its use. Stack Builders is the leading provider of industrial Haskell programming services, and we maintain some of the world’s largest and oldest Haskell codebases. Of the approximately 30% of our projects that currently use Haskell, we’ve seen a trend this year in those codebases gradually transitioning to more popular languages such as Python and Kotlin. Given that situation, why are we continuing to invest in Haskell by providing all of our engineering staff with in-depth Haskell training?

At Stack Builders, our mission is to push the boundaries of the software industry through quality, pragmatic solutions that bring to life the vision of our clients. One of the ways that we invest in our team to ensure alignment with this mission is to have all of our full-time engineers complete an approximately 50-hour training course in the Haskell language early in their career at Stack Builders.

The benefits of this go beyond just building a skilled Haskell team. While Haskell ranks low on the list of language skills for industrial programmers, an informal survey of Haskell’s features quickly shows that it is heavily infused with concepts influenced by research into programming languages. As popular languages such as Kotlin, Python, and Java evolve, they draw heavily on successful features implemented and utilized in Haskell.

By 2023, Java has evolved significantly from its 1995 version. The best developers in Java are the ones who are able to keep up with the innovation in the language to implement sensible patterns that are clearly understood by teammates and that contribute to the security, stability, and extensibility of the systems they create.

Having experience with industry-leading features in Haskell gives developers an edge when those language features become available in more common languages, and our in-house cross-training ensures that we are at the leading edge of the industry, regardless of the exact toolset in which we’re working. Our Haskell training teaches us how to use those features when they’re beneficial, and perhaps more importantly, when to refrain from their use when they’re not the best fit for the project or team that will be maintaining the code.

Going into 2024, we plan to continue the same Haskell cross-training for our engineers based on the results and the perspectives that it has given our team to look at code from a variety of different perspectives. While revisions to our specific advanced training may change, our dedication to pushing forward the boundaries of the software industry through quality, pragmatic solutions will not, and our client projects will continue to benefit from these practices which are part of the culture and processes at Stack Builders. Stay in touch with us to see what languages and skills become part of our advanced training later this year.

Published on Dec. 27, 2023

Written by:


Software developer

Justin Leitgeb

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