Dylan Butman on A Macro View of Macros

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A Macro View of Macros


Lisp is a beautiful language. It's flexibility, expressiveness, and pragmatism inspires creativity, productivity, and cleanliness. Yet when trying to explain what makes lisp beautiful, it's easy to fall into the feature trap. Lisp is homoiconic. Lisp has hygenic macros (sometimes). The REPL will change your life. Some new lisp has awesome features that will blow your socks off (perhaps immutability, isomorphism, etc).

Yet talking about features often misses the reasons that these features are important to the process of software development, and on a higher level, to personal and professional development. This talk attempts to reframe the discussion of the beauty and benefits of Lisp from a focus on features to a focus on process oriented values, in both the individual and organizational context.


Dylan Butman is Co-founder and CTO of populace.io (http://populace.io/), an sms-based personal assistant designed for hourly workers. His work centers around creating technology that serves to mediate and facilitate increased conversation and personal interaction within commercial contexts. In the past he has worked in business intelligence and data visualization, as well as a variety of installation based creative work. When not M-x'ing, you can find him playing at acroyoga, riding bikes, listening to vinyl, and doing other things he swears he just likes doing but aren't really hipster.