Log in

No account? Create an account
Who, me? [userpic]

I have a job!

July 2nd, 2008 (01:10 pm)
Tags: , ,

current mood: excited

I've got a job!

I've accepted a job at ITA,which powers airline sites such as Orbitz. working on the core fare search engine. I'll mostly be doing maintenance at first, learning the codebase, and Common Lisp.

The pay is only so-so, but the benefits are great. Fully paid medical/vision/dental, fully paid T pass, tuition reimbursement, and 3 weeks vacation. Plus, of course, it's really interesting tech—I've wished I could get a job in Lisp, or some other functional language, but never really expected it to happen.


Posted by: robertdfeinman (robertdfeinman)
Posted at: July 2nd, 2008 08:24 pm (UTC)

Once you get set it would be interesting if you could find out enough about the history of the project so that you could explain their choice of lisp.

I don't recall ever hearing of a major commercial project (at least not in the last 20 years) that used lisp. Perhaps there are other lisp pockets out their doing their thing quietly.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: July 3rd, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)
Why Lisp

The short answer is that the "find the best flights" problem is better known as the Travelling Salesman Problem. They have a whole lot of algorithmic smarts to find the flights that are probably best, and writing that kind of complex algorithm turns out to be easier with a more powerful language.

There are certainly other Lisp companies out there, but not many.

Posted by: Justin du Coeur (jducoeur)
Posted at: July 7th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)

I don't know about "major", but I've certainly done pretty significant projects in Lisp. It's still a fine language for writing complex systems -- my biggest Lisp project was one of the most productive I've ever done. (Slammed out a very nice and rather innovative IDE for Ada, mostly on my own, in a few months, which helped us win a huge government contract.)

There's generally a performance penalty, but heaven knows that doesn't stop everyone these days. Consider how many major sites are being written in Ruby, or even Javascript, which can be a good deal slower than Lisp. If you can architect things scalably, a lot of companies are willing to go for powerful over fast.

It's definitely a reasonable choice -- a bit quirky nowadays, but for anything more than a few years old (when there weren't better functional alternatives) it might have made fine sense...

16 Read Comments