Bruce Woodward's Road to Lisp
I, Bruce Woodward, 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? Late in 2002. Started using common lisp.

What led you to try Lisp? The articles from Paul Graham that appeared on slashdot.

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?

I had been using Python up to that point. I wasn't unhappy with Python, I just believed that there was a better language/technique out there. Functional languages were an area that I hadn't investigated before and lisp seemed like the best way forward.

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

I have studing Paul Graham's ANSI Common Lisp book, completing the majority of the exercises. The more I dig into Common Lisp the more I appreciate the comment about Lisp being a meta-programming language. I have some more work to before I can say that I have a strong Common Lisp knowledge but this hasn't stopped me from writing code.

What do you think of Lisp so far?

Even though I spend alot of time in the reference section finding the correct function to use I have been able to hack out alot of code compared to writing the equivalent software in perl or python.

What is probably more important is that I find writing programmes in Common Lisp much more enjoyable than with any other language. Normally programming isn't 'fun' for me, but this has changed with Common Lisp.

The best part is that lisp seems to allow you to code up a function without knowing how you will code the function. It's hard to explain. Sitting at the keyboard I just have a guess and look at the results. From the results I have a hopefully more educated guess. Following this processes for a few interations and the fuction is complete.

To date the best explaination I have seen of lisp as a meta programming language has been to download the source for CMUCL and view the source for the package mechanism. In other interpretered languages this would be implemented in C, not in the presented language.

Switch Date 2002 RtL Paul Graham