Artie Gold's Road to LISP
I, Artie Gold, do solemnly offer these my responses to The Road to Lisp Survey:

When did you first try Lisp (meaning here and throughout the survey "any member of the Lisp family") seriously, and which Lisp family member was it?

My first attempt at LISP was during an abortive attempt at graduate school (UCLA) in 1978, in an AI course. It made no sense to me at that time (nor did much else). My second attempt came in 1995, in a `Symbolic Computation' course at UTexas. As I was getting involved in pure, lazy functional languages at the time, it _still_ made no sense to me. In 1996, as a result of sitting in on a graduate programming languages course (UT) I started playing with Scheme -- and started to like it.

Now that I'm about to start a new career as a stay-at-home Dad (that's what happens when you're unintentionally unemployed [insert comments about local tech bust here]) I need something to learn; having largely gotten over my `religious' objections to CL (separate namespaces, impurity, sheer size) it seems like time! Switch Date 2003

What led you to try Lisp?

Well, it was a course requirement. ;-) Robert Strandh also finally wore me down...
RtL Formal Education | RtL Word of Mouth

If you were trying Lisp out of unhappiness with another language, what was that other language and what did you not like about it, or what were you hoping to find different in Lisp?

Well, once you see closures (which I actually first used in Burroughs ALGOL lo these many years ago) you don't want to go back! (At my last paying gig, writing embedded C, time after time the natural design for a solution involved closures -- and my colleague's would just give me a blank stare.)

How far have you gotten in your study of Lisp? (I know, that is hard to measure)

Not deep, but broad. I understand _how_ things work and _why_, but the facility of `finding the right incantations' is not there yet.

I know. Practice. Practice.

What do you think of Lisp so far?

It's a tool -- or, perhaps, many tools. A great big ugly swiss army knife. But, as any tool, used artfully it can produce beautiful things.