Haskell for the Elm Enthusiast

Many years ago NRI adopted Elm as a frontend language. We started small with a disposable proof of concept, and as the engineering team increasingly was bought into Elm being a much better developer experience than JavaScript more and more of our frontend development happened in Elm. Today almost all of our frontend is written in Elm.

Meanwhile, on the backend, we use Ruby on Rails. Rails has served us well and has supported amazing growth of our website, both in terms of the features it supports, and the number of students and teachers who use it. But we’ve come to miss some of the tools that make us so productive in Elm: Tools like custom types for modeling data, or the type checker and its helpful error messages, or the ease of writing (fast) tests.

A couple of years ago we started looking into Haskell as an alternative backend language that could bring to our backend some of the benefits we experience writing Elm in the frontend. Today some key parts of our backend code are written in Haskell…

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