Saturday, September 5, 2015

My Oldest Son John in WIRED Article On The Future Of Coding

So, I get a text from my oldest son John asking, "have you ever been in WIRED? :P  "  with a link.  Needless to say when you get this type of text from one of your kids you stop whatever you are doing and go read the article.

The article is titled, "Facebook’s New Spam-Killer Hints at the Future of Coding" by Cade Metz.  It's a very interesting article (regardless if my son is quoted in it :-) about Facebook's anti-spam software which is written in a functional computer programming language called Haskell.

Cade Metz writes in the article concerning Haskell "In the early ’90s, a committee of academics built Haskell as a kind of experiment in language design, and all these years later, it remains on the fringes of mainstream programming. At GitHub—the primary repository for software code on the ‘net—Haskell ranks 23rd on the list of the most popular languages. Even so, Facebook chose it as the basis for its enormously complex anti-spam system, which went live earlier this year."

The author continues with a reference to a comment made by Facebook's Lois Brandy,  "What he does say is that Haskell is ideally suited to fighting Facebook spam because it’s so adept at executing many different tasks at the same time—and because it gives engineers the tools they need to code all these tasks on the fly."

My son John is quoted in the article, "John Edstrom, who uses Facebook’s system to fight spam on Instagram, the photo-centric social network owned by Facebook, underlines how valuable this can be. “With a lot of these rules, we’re writing them as we’re being attacked. We’re like: ‘Oh crap. We have to get these out fast,'” he says. “If we’re working in a purely functional language that we know doesn’t have side effects, the faster we’re able to move.” 

I really enjoyed this article because it touches on so many significant challenges that a computer scientist faces today, and yes it does not hurt that my son is in it and the magazine is WIRED :-)