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Re: Y Store now C++

--Sundar Narasimhan wrote:
>    > > (a) The reason they rewrote it was entirely that the 
>    > > current engineers didn't understand Lisp and were too
>    > > afraid to learn it. 
> >   I believe the pointy-headed bosses were the driving force
> >   in the port.  When I worked at Yahoo, management were nervous
> >   about the software being written in Lisp because they thought
> >   it would be hard to find programmers who knew it.  Not so
> >   much that they couldn't find any, I think, but that because
> >   it was a comparatively rare skill, management would have
> >   less leverage over the hackers.   When skills are not a 
> >   commodity, employees aren't hot-swappable.
> Paul -- your (a) reads very different from this second paragraph. 
> You seem to have gone from "programmers are stupid" to "managers are
> stupid" -- perhaps you believe it's both.

Managers are at the root of it, but the programmers, because
they reflect the managers' hiring preferences, tend to agree.
Y hired mostly middle of the road programmers-- there was no
conscious attempt to hire hotshots, as e.g. Google has done.
These programmers then inherited what seemed to them a 
strange and complex piece of software.  It's hard to say at
that point who would be more enthusiastic about porting the
software to a more Blublike language.

> If you had a fiduciary responsibility to your shareholders will you
> base your business one one person who can get hit by a truck? 

Every startup is fucked if the wrong person gets hit by a 
truck, so I don't think we were being irresponsible to use
Lisp in Viaweb.  Within a big company like Yahoo, they could
easily have several people who understood the code, even
in Lisp if they wanted to.  It's not as if there are no Lisp
hackers in the Bay Area...