Yash Tulsyan, born 1996, alias yasht or Cosman246 College student (interested in Linguistics and CS; wants to be an AI researcher); Seattlite. Free Software and LISP fanboy, has been LISPing seriously since 2011. When I decided to teach myself to program, I didn't know where to start. I tried toying with Python for a while, but when I learned of being able to use Lisp to write programs that write programs, and when I saw the pleasant syntax, I decided to learn it. I have never regretted it. In fact, I love it now, to the point where I have tried to evangelize it.
Robert Smith, aka Quadrescence I'm a professional Common Lisp hacker in my 20s working in forensic data and biometrics. I first started programming by writing a formula to compute pi on an Apple //e given to me as a gift (at this time, we had a Pentium III, but I didn't know that was programmable). After a while, I found Lisp, and use it to program in my spare time and non-spare time. I like writing mathematical libraries most.
Scott Talafuse I was introduced to LISP by joelh in 1993, and the guy just wouldn't stop talking about it. At the time, I wrote off his exhuberance out of ignorance. Now, all I want to do is eat, breathe and sleep LISP. Thank you, joelh; I should have taken more effort to understand you back in 1993. Oh, and free software FTW.
Harrison Houghton As far as programming languages go, LISP was incredibly fun but seemed rather useful. I used Java and C for most of what I did. Then, writing a web site, I found Hunchentoot and CL-WHO. This was possibly one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened to me with respect to programming. I now use CL for almost everything. Kudos to Church and McCarthy, of course. Mathematically this is the most sensical language I've ever seen. The only downside is that I use function pointers way too much in C.
Dennis M Senyonjo Common Lisp was my first programming language hence she really spoiled me. 25 years old at the last count, dated a few others..the usual C++,Python...for the last few years Erlang, but even she has resigned herself to the fact that you have my heart Cl.
Born in '89. Addicted to Emacs. Lisp is simply beautiful.
Born in '86 in Poland. I didn't start programming until second year of university (I missed out on the opportunity to hack C64 BASIC as a child, which I sometimes regret :) ). At first it was nasty C++ (not the best first language, I guess) and some rudimentary shell scripting. Then, while reading Penrose's "The Emperor's New Mind", I came across this 'esoteric' language... LISP. Initially I approached it from a more academic point of view, reading stuff about lambda calculus, Alonzo Church, etc., next came Seibel's "Practical Common Lisp" and then I found Paul Graham's website, which further whetted my appetite. I started using Emacs full-time, and have since vigorously opposed adopting "more modern IDEs". In 2011 I read Levy's "Hackers" and it marked the beginning of my fascination with Lisp Machines and the quest for modelling the real world inside a computer. I run an emulated Open Genera inside a VM, use StumpWM as my primary graphical environment (after realizing how much trying to emulate Winblow$ is not the way to go), got even more enamored with Emacs and partly switched to Conkeror. I dream of a world in which superior technical solutions get the upper hand by the sheer power of their expressiveness and despite distracting marketing, brainwashing otherwise intelligent people. I dream of a world, in which one has immediate access to the source code of the universe and can force reality to obey him. I found something like that in Lisp and hope for an exciting future.
Nikhil ('minimally' proud)
Emacs got me in. C had me to a large extent. Also C++, Java, Python, Perl, PHP (the " popular ones "). Embedded systems and soft AI in an earlier life. Now in VR and Viz. Common Lisp just makes sense (We'll actually Lambda calculus). Salutes Alanzo Church, John Mc'Carthy et,al. that followed.
Born in '89. I like reasoning about programs and fell in love with Scheme some time ago. Common Lisp is still my language of choice for projects requiring performance. Vim user and proud of it.
Am Vijay and have been reading and practicing lisp for around 2 years now. Its been a great thing to work with it than most of the languages that I have worked on working now (C, C++, java, Perl, Prolog). Am working on an inference engine and web mining utility using lisp. Am learning and reasearching of common sense reasoning implementations in computers using lisp.
Ashok Gautham J (a.k.a ScriptDevil) I was born on the 19th of April 1989 in chennai, India. In India, we are taqught C/C++/Java at school and college. My first brush with other languages was Perl. A better C i thought. then came in Python.. hmm.. better.. but something was missing. Then Ruby.. This was home i thought. but soon i read ruby was an acceptable lisp. I knew basic elisp because i use emacs for almost everything. I thought, if one can create Emacs(THE EDITOR!) using Lisp, and if RMS(THE GOD!) uses CLisp(or atleast its dialect), it must be the divine tongue... And lisp was not to disappoint. The right amount of geekiness and smoothness garnished with the beauty of the program (parans make it so pretty... ) I love it.. i am gonna teach even my granchildren lisp. If you cant do it on lisp.... it is not worth doing it !!! SBCL +Slime + Emacs >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> .Net i love you lisp
Paul Driver Born in 1984, first programming language was BASIC on the C64 (and Apple IIe). Picked up a smattering of C in high school, wrote no real programs until I went to community college. They taught me VB.NET, Java, C#, some C++, some x86 assembly. I swore off VB as soon as possible, did some C# and Java for a while, then learned pure-C Win32. Programmed random things in C (little win32 utils, hacked a couple of circle muds) till I went to my current University. Switched to Linux, picked up some Paul Graham and looked very hard at CL. Found recently that I like Scheme better, and am currently exploring the Chicken implementation. I doubt I'll ever go back to C for a language to think in, although it makes a good language for hacking Unix. :-)
Born in 1975 I started programming in 1986. 2003 I quit my job because I was fed up with about all stuff commn in trade. Spring 2005 I succubed into LISP as I was brainwashed by friends. Thank God!
Jay Ilustre 21 years of age, college student. LISP is my 4th and final programming language (previous languages in order include vb, php, vb.net, c++ and lastly c#)...there is no other comparison. I've been programming with lisp for about a 2 weeks now. I've already spent 160-180hrs studying/reading/programming. I use clisp in emacs...currently i think it awesome but i'm keeping my eye open. The projects I have in mind with CL is in the scope of data mining/text mining...more specifically literature based knowledge discovery. I also can't count/do basic math.
Jason Wang Started lisp abotu 4 monthes ago :D Being hacking away at it ever since.. planning to write something big soon :D I'm currently 16 years old, and started programming at around 2000 with QBasic.. i live in Toronto, well.. have a Great day :D
1996 - 2002 : Scheme
2002 - present : Common Lisp
Hack ugly languages for food.
Guess I should update this - I'm now a first year PhD student at Indiana University Bloomington. I've done various work on porting SBCL to OS X, have been able to churn out a fair number of publications due to my CL source, and wrote cl-menusystem to make it easier to control / demonstrate research systems like my own. (Choosing a number looks a lot better in a demo than wildly typing sexprs and getting the debugger when you mistype a package!)
I have a page at http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~bmastenb/. It's nothing exciting.
I'm 15 and I'm addicted to lisp. I'm coming from python, then Objective-C before that, and further back C++ and Java. Every time I have to work on one of my python projects, I soon get frustrated by the inability to write a macro or to, for instance, nest an (if) or a (mapcar) inside of my expressions. In my non-spare time I do that belittling, brain-drizzling and mostly useless thing they call high-school
I'm 18 and live a crazy life (born 1985). I've been working for MINDSWAP for about a year now, writing Common Lisp code. I blame it on comp.lang.lisp, Erik Naggum, Bijan Parsia, Paul Graham and Emacs. (p.s. I use Allegro 'cause it rawks)
Hello, I'm 25 and get paid to write Common Lisp from my home in Xalapa, Mexico, by onShore Development . Common Lisp was my 12th and last language. I have finally found what i'm looking for. Now I can concentrate on coding crazy lisp systems. My medium term goal is unifying and understanding the lisp FS community through the community empowerment and understanding software that I'm in the process of writing. My first memory of the existence of free software was "wow, this emacs thing looks complicated." I think that was in 1995.
Peter Van Eynde
I was born in 1973 and got paid to write Common Lisp programs. I hope to do it again in the future... I first got into contact with lisp via an obsure program on my brothers Atari ST that only offered '?' as the prompt and as the only error message. Via clips and the MMA language I finally reached nirvana. My goal in hacking Lisp is to take the poor students that have to "study" Lisp into the 90's and give them something more to interact with than read and princ. Ideally I want to create and easy-to-use, web-enabled interface in which they can quickly write their own little pages that read user input and present data in a meaningfull way. McCLIM seems like a giant step in the right direction :-).
I blame Emacs and the Unix-Haters' Handbook.
Born in 1978 I found to Lisp many years later while fiddling around with my Emacs. I've started programming with m68k ASM on my good ol' Amiga. Later I learned C and then C++
which I used several years then. Before finding Lisp I began to realize how suboptimal the language C++ and even the common OSs like UNIX, Windows or Mac are. I had endless discussions with a friend that came to the same conclusion - so we decided to design and build our own language and OS. Before the project really came into life I found Lisp and realized that most of the ideas we discussed lengthly was already available in it. In my freetime, besides hacking Lisp, I maintain my website http://www.dataheaven.de where you can find some of the programs that I've written.
Tijs van Bakel
I was born in 1977, and will probably forget to update my age here on my next birthday. My personal page may contain references to things I am working on.
Experimenting with Linux in 1995 made me try Emacs, where I first noticed parentheses. While browsing the Tunes website, I discovered Common Lisp.
I'm not so young, but 29. I'm working with CL for about 5 years now. Currently I'm hacking a modeling tool based on extended MOP and a lot of LISP classes. But for Graphics we use Swing and dock it onto Lisp with ILU.
I was born in 1975 and have been hacking with Free Software since 1993. I got started with Lisp and its ilk around 1998 or so, starting with alot for scheme hacking to build SGML processing tools. A co-worker introduced me to CL and the rest is history. I maintain UncommonSQL and IMHO as well as some smaller packages. I'm a senior, hehe, programmer at onShore Development where I get to hack on our commercial CL application all day, WebCheckout. The nice thing is that I get to release whatever parts I factor out of the application as Free Software.
Stig E Sandø
My parents tell me that I was born in 75, and I've been piecing together code for some time now. I blame my Common Lisp use on Bjarne Stroustrup. C++ convinced me that there must be a Better Way and that C++ was not it. So I ended up with Lisp and most of the code I write is in Lisp these days. Of Free Software-projects I am involved with includes the roguelike Langband and SDS, both of which most of the code is in Lisp.
I was born in 1977, and got attracted to CL some twenty years after. Initially, I used Lisp for semester projects due to it's 'obscurity', to discourage teachers asking too many questions on how my code works; but then found that Lisp is quite a capable instrument for real work. I run one Free Software CL project (a TrueType font renderer), still unfinished. Also, I implemented a JPEG codec library in Common Lisp (sponsored by Kelly Murray), which is now available here.
I was born in 1977 too and I got involved into Lisp about 3-4 years ago. Currently I work for a company as software developer, using Lisp to develop programs for combinatorical problems and frontend tools.
Born in 1976. My first exposure to Lisp was incidental in University (about 4 years ago). Haven't heard about it before then. Did not grasp what it is all about, wrote some programs in notepad for pclisp (the one instructor gave and that fitted on a single floppy). Was writing C++ programs (a big improvement comparing to database stuff I was doing before). It was fun at first, but then it got to the point I had to fight C++ to get something working and remembered Lisp. Left that company because boss refused to listen about Lisp. Now developing a search engine in Common Lisp.
Born 1973. I was introduced to lisp at Grinnell college in Iowa, though I didn't get good until my first job, working on a huge 3d Modeller/Animator/Painter program, called Mirai. This system was 80% in Allegro Common Lisp, and that's where I spent about 4 years, fighting User Interface Wars. Since then, I've been looking for the next big thing, and wrote a game called Copter Commander, in C, but which uses Clisp for some pre distribution code generation. Right now I'm obsessed by just how much CMUCL completely kicks the butt of the ACL compiler.
I am 24 and live in Italy. I am a lisp newbie, because i only read books, no true code experience, except some scripting and web stuff. College and jobs pushed me towards C/PHP/Ruby. After i read Graham and Norvig 's books i can only say like John Fraser in c.l.l "Lisp is like the red pill". Common Lisp of course.
Hey, I'm 17 and live in BC canada. I'm not a professional programmer (yet) although I might like to be after college. I'm new to lisp, and familiar with C\C++. I was interested in
artificial intelligence and read a couple books on the *basic* theory, so I thought I'd learn lisp to play around with it, but I then found lisp was more for more than _just_ AI, and I've loved it since I started reading ANSI Common Lisp.
Yes, I'm yet another LISP-lover. I'm 17 and pretty new to programming and computers in general (due to the lack of cheap computers in the country where I lived, I bought my first computer only in 1997). Being a C programmer (hobbyist) I somewhere found out about functional programming and Haskell in particular, from there I (following recommendations of people I greatly respect) started learning scheme, but after couple of weeks changed my focus to CL. Since then (about five months ago) I have been intensively self-studying CL.
As a few others here, I'm born in 1977, and have been involved in computers one way or another since '87 or so. Around '95 I discovered Linux, and some time later had my first encounter with LISP. Being mostly into C at the time, and later C++, I didn't really 'discover' LISP until '98 or so, and now I'm finally starting to study the language in more depth. I'm completely fascinated with it, and hope to eventually use it for something significant, though currently I'm working on other projects where it's not an option right now to 'switch'.
Travis B. Hartwell
Yet another born in 1977, I have been playing around with programming in some shape or form since the 4th grade. I have used and been involved with the GNU/Linux community since 1999, though I have been interested since around 1994. I'm not sure when I first got interested in Lisp, probably a few years ago. I am enamored with the language conceptually, and am growing to enjoy using it. I hope to find some project outside my AI class at school with which I can utilize CL. I also enjoy using Python and am interested in learning OCaml as well.
Born 1974, for a change. Interest in many interesting languages, and thus also
CL. No practical project experience with CL yet, though; instead have already
done Erlang, Haskell, Ocaml, including at work.
Perhaps some time in future, I could write more.
I claim Lisp as the best programming language I have ever seen.
Knut Arild Erstad
Born 1975. I become aware of Lisp by Norwegian usenet posts (IIRC) somwhere around 1998. I was already convinced that C was really outdated, and I wasn't particularly impressed by Java or C++ either. I decided to try out Common Lisp for a thesis of mine (about L-systems), and I was hooked. CL is simply the coolest programming language I have used thus far.
Born in 1979.
born in '81. I owned my first real computer at 19.a month later i installed freebsd and startet to learn c. i hated it, everything kept segfaulting and was way harder than i thought it should be. i started looking at other languages and became a language lover. i learned python and perl, ocaml, haskell and ruby. i loved ruby at first, it would have become my favorite except it had shortcomings. about this time mathieu bouchiard(sorry if i spelt your name wrong) and another guy(whose name i have forgotten. sorry) turned me onto metaprogramming and sicp. at first i wouldn't learn scheme ( i didn't like all the parentheses) but then i decided i might be missing something cool and so i swallowed my pride and learned scheme. it turned out that i loved scheme it was on my top ten list. but later on i wanted something more industrial and so here i am. cl is also on my top ten list but i am still learing it. i am hoping to write a lisp machine.
OK, I was born in 69 but I'm a young programmer and I'm still an undergraduate. My instructor spoke of the wonders of this terrific language. I wasn't sure he was on the level, after all, he was using Java. But after reading SICP I started to see the light. Now I have Paul Graham's book in front of me right now. I am just in shock when I consider the many hours that people must have spent fighting C and its cousins. I love this language.
James A Crippen
I was born in 1979, and I've hacked Lisp since I was 12 or so. I own a Lisp Machine (Symbolics XL1200) but I'm extremely frustrated in that I don't actually get to use it for anything in Real Life. Hence I've embarked on emulating another Lispm, the TI Explorer. I respect the power of C/C++, but I still don't like it for anything except bit-bashing (like emulation!). I think Java programmers are cute, like when a little boy says he can drive because he's sat in his dad's lap and turned the wheel. It seems prophetic that even The Onion makes fun of people who program in Java.
I'm 25 at last count and lately I've started doing some lisp hacking too, it's great fun. I'm also programming in C and enjoying it :-) but I do most things with Erlang.
Born in 1978. Common Lisp puts the fun back in my work.
Brian P. Templeton
I was born in 1987 and started using Lisp perhaps three or four years ago. I'm currently working mostly on hypertext-related projects.
I was born in 1980, first programmed in c64 command-line basic. I discovered LISP 3 years ago and have been hooked since, though I've had less chance to use it than I like because graders like languages they know (C,C++).
I love LISP, but the non-uniformity of libraries across implementations is pretty agravating. I'm looking for an implementation with process or thread and socket support. There are some other restrictions which would be too long to inline here.
The goal is to write a couple small muds and a protocol to make passage for characters between muds possible for characters if the dungeon masters have agreed to it. Unless I hear something pretty fast (by April 6th, 2002), I'll wind up doing this in Python, but if anyone knows about this, and in particular if they've made a server-daemon in LISP, send me an email at email@example.com.
Paulo J. Matos
For a change I'm portuguese and I was born in 1981! :) So let me remember... Hummm, it was not that long! I'm a college student at Instituto Superior Tecnico - Lisbon (Portugal) and I'm taking AI... I first got into Scheme in my first year... (two years ago...) and I started with Common Lisp a year ago (it seems to me that it was along time ago...). I always appreciated Scheme and I live Common Lisp. I have already done a couple of projects in CL for college, some extras at home and I have much more to go.
Common Lisp is definitely THE Programming Language... Ok, so here I go byebye right now... I have pizza and coke waiting for me, time to fast-food and some Lisp... This is certaintly what life is for...
I'm not young, but I felt the 30-and-over lispers needed to represent.
Born in 1973, I must hurry to put my name here before I don't qualify as Young anymore. Problem is, I'm not sure I really qualify as "Lisper". There are things I love and things I hate about the various programming languages that exist, and somehow, Lisp is the nearest thing to what I long for. So I've been interested in Lisp and related things for a long time, and still hope to build a Lisp-like system one day as the basis for TUNES. In the meantime, I've written a few small hacks in Lisp, and keep being an observer of the Lisp community. All in all, I'm definitely not a "non-Lisper", so I'm just a "non-non-Lisper", which anyone keen in constructive logic knows is weaker than a "Lisper".
Born in 1985. Been programming since January 2002, and I'm still not too sure why I do it. I just know that I want to keep doing it, and the beautiful moments are definately worth the hair-pulling. I fell into Lisp as my second language, which then proceeded to give me rather high standards for all the other language I've learned. I've at least played with about a dozen languages total, at the moment mainly C/Objective-C, Python and Ocaml. I hate the C linker model with a passion. I dream of someday writing my own OS and language, so I can make everything work Exactly The Way I Want It.
Tim Daly, Jr.
I was born in 1978. I love Lisp because it gives me the feeling that the quality of my code is limited only by my own ability. I've been payed to program in C and Java. Very quickly, particularly in Java, I feel limited, like a musician who may only play notes diatonic to C. Lisp lets me express myself.
Not quite a YoungLisper, but neither am I that old. Currently, I'm a Python hacker by day, Lisp reader/grokker by night.
Born in 1983. I am 18 now (Aug 2002) and started using free software about 4 years ago (probably around 1998), which accelerated my learning of programming languages. I started with the programming the TI-82 and then to the usual C++ before I went to highschool, then I did some stuff with scheme/common lisp, tried other languages like python, haskell, and ocaml(ocaml was probably the best of those three that I listed), and then I am currently going back to scheme and common lisp right before I head to college. My current life goals (just kidding) is to write a decent compiler, maybe become a sbcl hacker and port it to use the os-kit and maybe make an os from that. But then again, I just came up with that yesterday, it will probably change in a month. Maybe I'll get some girls in college.
Deepak Goel --- a fan of Free Software and of Lisp, usually known by deego on #emacs, etc.
Born in 1976.
born '76. Learning & loving Lisp.
I began learning Common Lisp with Clisp a number of months ago, adding it to my variety of other interests (I do B/W photography and intaglio printmaking among other things). Born in the tail end of '73, learning my first programming language (slowly :-).
I'm learning Lisp because everything else looked like gibberish (and people complain about parens! --I still think that's funny).
I was born in early 1973, so I'm perhaps no longer young. I've been dabbling in Lisp recently (and OCaml), but have played with Scheme and XLisp in the past. Professionally, I've only done Java, Perl, and C++, but I'd love to have a Lisp job.
In response to Bruce's query, the page should probably be sorted by age, so they can take off of the end of the list when the time comes. :)
I was born in 1979. My first programming was in GWBasic, which I promptly loathed. I flirted briefly with Pascal, and (very) briefly with Visual Basic, before beginning college and doing a five year course of study in Computer Science. They taught me C++, C, x86 assembler, and Java, and expected me to be grateful for it. I suppose I am; now I know not to use C or assembler for things higher-level than bit-twiddling, and not to use C++ or Java for anything. :-) I also became conversant in AWK and sed while taking a course on Unix, about a year after I switched my home box to Linux exclusively.
I found Lisp while searching for a more interesting, powerful, elegant, and fun language than the above, with less hype and overblown praise a definite plus. Perl turned me off immediately with its resemblance to line noise, lack of a real standard, and adoption of C-like syntax. Python I found very gnifty (that's a GNU nifty), but hampered by the significant whitespace problem, as well as a lack of native-code compilation. And it goes without saying that shell script is only good for...well, shell scripting.
In Common Lisp, though, I've found several things that I wanted before, without actually knowing that I did. Dynamic code generation, lexical closures, macros, read-macros, CLOS's idea of how OOP should REALLY be...these are wonderful things! And the parentheses make a hell of a lot more sense to me than the syntactic soup you find in the above languages. I'm currently studying up very carefully, trying exercises in various books that I've found, and looking for some "medium-hard" project to try out in CL so that I can exercise my chops.
I'm one of the few for whom the first part of this page's name applies (20 years of age), and I came to lisp through a few mad friends of mine, who showed me the cool things you could do with scheme, and then threw the word "CLIM" in my general direction.
I'm the one who did the McCLIM logo, and I try to make a good free player for music (yes, this does differ from just playing sound or even being a Multimedia System) in Common Lisp, using McCLIM.
Relatively young lisp hacker from Georgia Tech
Brit Butler, 1986 (aka redline6561)
Introduced to Lisp in 2008 by Will Halliburton. Worked with Leslie Polzer on Paktahn. Have since wound up on Planet Lisp and published a few personal projects on github.
Born in 1979 at the south of the globe, in Argentina. A CL newbie, fascinated by the power of dynamic languages and specially by the Lisp mytical properties. Coming mainly from C++, Python was an eye-opener, but I realized soon that Lisp is better (but I miss the hugue python library). Now i'm learning CL, trying to determine if the hyperflexibility of CLOS is better for development than a powerful but regular object model like the one in Smalltalk. Also interested in prototype based languages, actor's OO models, maths and more... If you are in Argentina and involved with Lisp, please mail me at: nahu at softhome dot net.
Born 1979 in the Czech Republic, Europe. I have learned a lot of languages in my life. It started on ZX Spectrum with basic, then in chronological order: Z80 assembler, qbasic on PC, Turbo/Borland Pascal, x86 assembler, Delphi, Java (in its early days), bit of Scheme, C, Pyhton, Ruby (I liked this one most at that time, summer 2001, I still use it for scripting), bit of SML, C++, Common Lisp, Prolog, Smalltalk and a lot of others. Currently I consider lisp (not necessarily CL) as best language ever for its metaprograming facilities which usefulness is tied to simple representation of program (list) and type system that doesn't get in your way (though I like Ocaml way too, but still it's not as flexible), making lisp the ultimate language. I see CL as practical implementation of the lisp. Nick: jtra on irc channel #lisp at irc.freenode.net (see IRC).
I was born in 1983 in Quebec. I discovered Lisp when I entered the Linux world in 1999. At first I thought it looked ugly because of the parentheses and I immediatly discarded it. I tried C and C++, but I was not good enough for them (or were they not good enough for me>), I went through Ruby, Python and O'Caml and I liked them a lot, but one thing was bugging me: I liked the dynamic typing in Ruby and Python, the freedom it gave, but I really liked the functional paradigm that I discovered with O'Caml.
One day, I read an article by Paul Graham, Beating the Averages, and I was impressed at what he had accomplished with Lisp. I found a page that explained what Lisp was and when I saw it was a powerful, dynamic, functional lanugage (yeah, I know it can be any paradigm), I downloaded Clisp, ordered a copy of ANSI Common Lisp by Paul Graham and it was then I became a big Lisp fan.
I haven't done anything significant in Lisp (yet) mainly due to lack of free time and ideas, but I hope to eventually get a chance to make something nice. I also look forward to Paul Graham's Lisp dialect 'Arc' and I hope it brings more people to the Lisp community.
Andrew S. Kuehn
Born in 1987. I was introduced to Lisp by a fellow YoungLisper. Now C/C++ and Java look horrific, and I wonder how I will ever get an enjoyable job :-)
Born 1978. Qualified as a mechanical engineer in the 90s. As an engineering student, I encountered AutoLisp. Nonetheless, I survived, and some time later, after I had switched to Linux distros as my home OS of choice, started playing with free Common Lisp implementations after detours through Scheme.
Jon Allen Boone
Born in 1970. Programming since 1983. First heard of Lisp in 1984 (when Steven Levy's _Hackers_ hit my local public library). First touched Lisp in 1988 @ Carnegie Mellon. Lisp involvement was primarily with Emacs Lisp until 2002, when I discovered Common Lisp. I won't mention the torture I endured programming in Scheme in 1990 (actually, it *seemed* fun at the time...)
Born in 1982. Seem to recall being a programmer since the early 90s, using BASIC and then C. Introduced to Lisp around late spring 2000, just before college (CMU), and spent the next year playing with Scheme mostly. Got a job and started writing web applications in Common Lisp the summer after freshman year, and haven't looked back.
Born 1977, full-time Java coder seeks new ways of thinking about programs. Started with Common Lisp after coding a Yahoo chat interface in GNU Emacs. Maintain Common Lisp and GNU Emacs stuff in Gentoo.
Born in 1981, started playing with computers/programming from a very early age. Mom bought a Commodore 64 when I was a year old, and taught me my alphabet on it. I never got into programming the Commodore (I was too busy playing games), but I saw my mom coding on it quite a bit, so my interest was piqued. When I started school there was an Apple IIc in the corner with a Logo interpreter on it. Logo was the first programming language I used. Two years later I met a guy who used to hang out around MIT in the 60's and he handed me Robert Wilensky's 'Common LISPcraft'. I was entranced, and started playing around with Lisp on his computer for the rest of elementary school. Since then, I have learned many programming languages and every time I have the leisure to return to Lisp I am relieved. I only recently realized that there is still an active Lisp community (I was talked into believing Lisp was dead by CS professors at Michigan Tech who were busy preaching the word of Java). I am now looking to be useful to the free software community in some way, specifically the Lisp community.
Born in 1984, all you people born before then are making me feel very old. I first started using Linux in 1997 or 1998. My first nix text editor was VIM. I would still love a nice cross between it and Emacs. I still prefer VIM (heresy!). I've only just started with Lisp, really. Though I've learnt VB, PHP and Java. I've also looked at Ruby, Python and Haskell. But I think in Lisp when programming anyway, so I might as well learn it :) Lisp is so much simpler and makes so much more sense. (Well, actually, my first taste of Lisp was in Logo in primary school, but I'm not sure that counts.) I am envious of the person above me, damn you!
Born in 1981, started using linux seriously in 1996 (I saw someone load a floppy driver while the kernel was running - to a dos user it was like fire to a caveman). University has forced me to learn any number of ugly languages which in turn forces me to compensate by learning some nice ones in my spare time :). At the beginning of the year I started using emacs and found out how useful and easy lisp was. Now I'm pottering around in Common Lisp and loving it. (Any NZ lisp offers or indeed offers for any country eagerly accepted :)
Also born in 1981, a software engineering student who is being forced to learn ugly languages such as C++ and Java. So I write code in Common Lisp on my spare time in order to be able to actually enjoy writing software. During my first year in the polytechnic we had a course and a seminar of programming languages. My team chose Lisp simply because we had good books about it in the school's library. That's how I stumbled upon Lisp and believe me when I say that I have not regretted that I did.
Born in 1983, I learned lisp in high school just because it was different than C. When I got to college and found I had to solve a lot of problems in very little time, I invested that time into lisp and reaped the benefits. I've used lisp for everything from data analysis in physics (or as a glorified calculator) to multi-node parallel genetic graph coloring algorithms to graphical fractal explorer programs.
I started in 3rd grade with BASIC, which after building myself some RAD tools over the course of 6 or so years, had become pretty comfortable. The plethora of basics that run in unix left me baffled and uncertain, so I floated around in C-space for 3 years before running across a comfortable lisp environment that finally addicted me!
I put a lot of content on the alu.cliki.net's "Road to Lisp" survey, but it disappeared! So now, once bitten, twice shy: I'm going to hesitate writing too much here...
UC Berkeley's CS61a introduced me to Scheme. Now, after hacking a C program for 3 years, I switched to Scheme and finished it in months! Now I'm addicted to fully grokking Scheme & CL.
I'm a PhD student at the University of Reading in the UK. I've freely roamed through the landscape of programming languages, and eventually decided it was about time I learned Lisp, as I was already well-aware of its advantages.
I'm glad I did, as it's an expressive and elegant language. My homepage has a version of a radiant primes generator in both Lisp and C++; the Lisp version is much shorter!
Sacha Chua, 1983
Just got into Common Lisp now. Have been into Emacs Lisp for a while. Teach computer science at the Ateneo de Manila University. My homepage is a blog published by an Emacs Lisp package I maintain. =)
Born in '85, I suppose I'm pretty young. I recently got into lisp, and being experienced in .NET (I'm a C# hacker by day), I think I want to bring some of its best aspects to Lisp, eventually. I'm thinking a CLI interface module, making any common lisp a CLR consumer. Way cool, huh? Maybe adding a neat packaging and versioning system. But heck, that's way off, considering my skills. All I know is that Lisp rules, but the only way to really increase its popularity is to make it Plug-n-Play, if you know what I mean.
Well, wasn't that a newbie thing to say? I realize now that the extensive power of Common Lisp is such that a good compiler is really hard to come by, and needs more than a toy VM like the CLR to be able to operate efficiently. So now I'm just programming. I started a web app in PHP a year ago (this), but the code started to get messy, and I put it on hold. Now I'm doing it with TBNL. Thanks Edi. Heh. Lisp rules!
Mikael Brockman, 1988
phubuh on IRC. I don't remember how I got into Lisp, but I'm guessing the story doesn't wildly differ from the standard Emacs story. Working on a toy CL interpreter in C++. (Not anymore. I need to extend chandler's sexp-c into sexp-c++ first. Heavy cpp macrology makes me sick.)
Xavier Maillard, 1980
I live in Reims (France) and I try to learn Common Lisp. I am (yet) a big fan of emacs lisp but not a guru at it ;) I hope I will able to port my current C-written programs in Common Lisp. Actually my big plan is to port my Gimp-like program to Common Lisp. I still can't tell if it is doable, but for sure I will try to do ;) First, I need to learn the language.
Why am I going to CL ? Two main reasons: curiosity and challenge. I used to develop in C/C++ but I really want something new and increase my knowledge so I can more easily contribute to other *lisp project (ie. Emacs which is impossible atm).
Andreas Scholta, 1984
I'm a 19 year old german soon-to-be (hopefully) math student and kind of new to lisp. Haven't done any spectacular things with it up til now and am currently implementing a common lisp mars for corewars (2004 is corewars' 20th anniversary btw, so go reanimate it). Coming from languages such as C/c++ and perl I can't say that learning common lisp was (is) a pain, it feels more like a liberation. Emacs, Graham and Naggum get the blame.
Massimiliano Campagnoli, 1971
I'm a 33 year old italian programmer. After 14 years of boring C/C++ development and days spent to wait for the nightly build to finish I am back to Lisp, the language I used to for my university degree project and lost because of all the "pointy-haired bosses" I met in my career. To quote Eric Raymond "Lisp is worth learning for the profound enlightenment experience you will have when you finally get it; that experience will make you a better programmer for the rest of your days, even if yhttp://www.cliki.net/Recent%20Changesou never actually use Lisp itself a lot"
Giannandrea Castaldi, 1971
I'm an italian programmer and member of a team that applies extreme programming. In XP is important to have tools that allow write and modify programs easly and quickly. I think that lisp is the best language for this purpose and then I'm using it in my spare time for two years and I hope I'll use it on work.
Edward Tate, 1986
I'm 18 and I started programming about 4 years ago in C. After that I programmed in C++ and Python because I liked the high level of abstraction that Python gave me whilst retaining the speed with C++. Through realising that Lisp provides both of these features and in a desperate search for the perfect programming language, I chose to program in Common Lisp.
Eirik A. Nygaard
I was born in 1986 in the cold country up north called Norway, I started with lisp the summer before I turned 18. Most of my free time I spend hacking the BSD operating system DragonFly BSD and throwing out line by line of useless code in different languages in my huge quest after writing the one great application. I am not sure who I should blame for starting with lisp, I think I just thought it looked cool and had to try it out.
Pisin Bootvong, 1981 (Sept, 2005) Knowing Lisp for 1.5 year now. Love it. But pity it's hard to find Lisp job in Thailand. Planned I would create such job myself soon.
Vikas G P, 1986
I live in Mysore, India. Came to Lisp via the Jargon file, SICP, Paul Graham, etc.
Berlin Brown, 1979
I have started with Basic, to Web Development, to C, to C++, to Java, Python, back to Web languages again. Now I have found lisp and it is truly amazing. It is amazing how much has been put into the language to help the developer, with other languages you are given, 'if', 'for', 'while'. Down with static typed languages!
Joseph Wecker, 1978
Hooked by Paul Graham. I was amazed at the "demo" projects at the end of some lisp books I checked out at the library. In C++ or Java or something you get to the end of the book and it has something like "Now let's build a shopping cart..." I would get to the end of a hundred page Lisp beginner book and it would be something like "Now let's build a compiler for the ABC programming language..." or "Now let's implement a new OOP paradigm..." Started programming in asm on the 8088; programmed in many other languages since. Lisp, of course, is what I hope one day to do all programming in.
Jens Thiede, born 1985
I've been playing with PCs since I was five. My affinity for coding comes from my desire to want the simplest structure that does the most. To say something in the most concise way. I love things such as design patterns and unit tests. So in wondering about - and from - language to language I can truly say that Common Lisp is by far the best language that I've seen.
In 2006 I won't be embarking on a study of Computer Science, but rather Visual Communication Design (Animation, Photography, Illistration, etc.)
Steve Morin, born 1979 Been facinated with lisp for 8 years or so since I read one of my first A.I. books. As a software engineer using java and c is torture compared to lisp. I have finally start getting really into lisp in may 2005. I have to thank Paul Graham mostly for my renewed interest. My web site.
Pitr Vernigorov, born 1986 Learnt Scheme in my first term of uni, fell in love. Use Scheme/Lisp for complicated mathematical problems/proofs, Perl for the rest.
Surendra Singhi, born 1980
I first started with Scheme while reading the excellent book "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs", and then I had to learn Lisp for the AI course in my school, and since then I have never looked behind.
Dan McCarthy, born 1981
Like many others, I saw Scheme in college, but, baffled by the parens, marked it "academic' (whatever that meant) and left it behind. A few years later, out of college and employed writing Visual C++/VB, I began to feel my brain shrink. I began exploring 'weird' languages(maybe that means the same as 'academic'), found Paul Graham's essays, then bought "ANSI Common Lisp". Not long after, and also partly on PG's advice, I bought SICP. Those two books, together, blew me away.
Pablo Barenbaum, born 1985
I started programming in QBASIC (*shame*) in 1995. Later, I learned C and Python, which were my languages of choice for a while. I got into a programming language lover, and started to discover that universe (Perl, Haskell, Unlambda, Befunge...). The paths that lead me to Lisp were many: "Gödel, Escher, Bach", Paul Graham, Eric Raymond, Emacs.
I believe Common Lisp and Scheme are different and useful approaches to the Lisp Way. From time to time, I'd rather one or the other, and use mostly Clisp and Guile.
I wrote an interpreter for an Scheme-like language (called Funes). That experience made me understand Lisp more fully. However, I'm still not completely sure I grok it.
You can reach me at foones AT gmail DOT com
Ralphw, started in PCs by borrowing/ building a Cosmac Elf, got an Apple II, learned LOGO 6 months later, and Scheme right after that. Learned CLU, didn't understand the fuss about Ada, finally learned C, C++. Getting back into Lisp and LOGO to teach students and robotics ,after getting frustrated seeing a local public school still teach BASIC. Nice to see Microsoft and Sun competing to put dynamic language features in their Virtual Machines.
Dwight Holman, born 1986
C was my first language, but I picked up SICP and taught myself Scheme at the tender age of 11. Common Lisp is a recent thing for me, but it feels so much like home. Now, I am a contributing member of the CL community. Climacs is fun!
Zimbabao Bourbaki, born 1982
zimbabao at yahoo dot com
Started programming in late 1999 with pascal, then c, c++ then in 2002 came Lisp and prolog for a year, again in 2003 started with c++, perl ,php, SQL, Java for food. Restarted Lisp for fun hacks in late 2005 and its still going.
Greg Johnston, born 1990
I started using Lisp a while ago, coming from C/Java/Ruby/PHP/Assembly...it's awesome. I'm madly in love with it. Functional languages are much better to think in than any of the other ones I've used, and I really like the (lack of) syntax of Lisp. It's just fantastic.
Martin Bishop, born 1985
I'm (currently) 21 years old, and in love with Common Lisp. I own PCL and PAIP and read a little of both every day, as well as bookmark any interesting sites dealing with Lisp. I'm also an avid emacs and ratpoison user.
Troels Henriksen, born 1987
I'm currently 18 years old and have been programming since I was 15 - a late start, perhaps, but I have been interested in computers ever since I tried one for the first time in 1993 and I did write a bunch of scripts for game modding over the years. I started out programming in C and C++, but converted to Common Lisp over a few weeks in May of 2005. I believe in the principles of Free Software and release everything I make under as liberal a license as possible. I enjoy hacking on Climacs, the premier free CLIM-based Emacs-editor with a Flexichain-based buffer implementation.
Leonid Slobodov, born 1989
Hmm, I tried Lisp after having been somewhat disappointed by several other lanuages. Like many others, I started with QBasic. Boy, even though it was my first language, I knew there had to be something better. Then I switched to Pascal and realized that it was the OTL. Same with C and C++. Finally noticed that being a Blob programmer isn't that much fun and started to tinker with Python a bit. Scheme. Common Lisp. Enlightment. 'Nuff said. Doing my "Abitur" in Germany currently.
Seshu Yamajala, born 1990
I was going through a box of my mom's old cs books from college and found Lisp, second edition and Common Lisp the language first edition. I had learned a few other languages on my own before (c, objective-c, php, visual basic .net, vb6, ...) and wanted to try something different. I hope in the future to get a job writing lisp code.
Shaun Gilchrist, born 1982
I have been messing with CL on and off for years but I am now reaching the point where I am going to use it for applications that would have previously been relegated to php. I want to work with the whole "sdl"-esque side of things and make some libraries which make developing games in lisp totally viable. If it wasn't lisp it would be smalltalk (only OO I have ever used that didn't make me feel as if I'd wasted my time) or python. I've also used c,c++,pascal (kylix/delphi) and I guess BASIC as well in grade school! For the record I've NEVER used or endorsed Java. I feel that's important to mention.
Piotr Esden-Tempski, born 1980
Many people here seem to have started with Basic, I seem to break with that rule because I started with Turbo Pascal short after also Delphi. After switching to Linux I learned C, C++, Perl, PHP, Ruby and because of University constrains also Java. Currently I use mainly C for my day to day work, developing software for embedded systems. (Small ones, mostly 16bit machines for now.)
Some months ago I started to learn Common Lisp from Practical Common Lisp. Since then nearly everyday I see how constraining C and the other languages are. I also realized that I reimplemented parts of Common Lisp in a unspecified and broken way several times in C. I am now trying to replace C with some kind of Lisp for my embedded work. It would be beautiful to have Common Lisp on embedded but it may be a bit too big. But who knows. For now Hedgehog Lisp may be the right thing to start with. But even Hedgehog needs 32bit architecture. So I will have to live with C for some time.
I am sure I will have to revise this entry in some way in the future, when I am no more such a newbie in CL. ;)
Ivan Kudryavtsev I'm network software developer from Russia. Currently using Perl, C/C++, Python languages in my everyday business and reviewing if common lisp can be applicable in my projects. I'm wondering of power and beuty of this language. Common lisp makes the view of code writting very amazying and unusual. Currently, just reading lisp books to know and understand the language in deep so be confident that I can apply it somewhere with real result, not just like an experiment with no effective result.
Alexander Wang, born 1979
I become aware of Scheme in around 2002 after watching the video lesson of SICP. It impressed me a lot, and let me think about programming from different perspective. Now, Lisp is my favorite language in non-working time. I am seeking the chance to apply it in a "real" project instead of playing with it only.
Alexander Nazarenko aka Fullzero, born 1976
But I see some drawbacks of current situation with Lisp and for Lispers: very small number of free implementation, very poor support of IDEs for Lisp. I found only one super IDE is SBCL Plugin for Eclipse! It is super! It will help the rest of Java developers to move to Lisp world :) But we need to help Lisp (and the future Lispers) to increase it popularity, we need to open eyes to rest of us that Lisp is very productive tool and it will help us to save our effort while creating future fantastic (and the helpful!) programs.
I don't know how, but we need to sum up all our brains to save Lisp. I will be glad to hear your thoughts. Please post your comments or send me e-mails (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org).
P.S. Thank you very much that I am not a single person who in love with Lisp :)
Nubis, born 1986
Ecmascript, (PHP, C++), Python, now, a bipolar lisp programmer that tries to understand the world by modeling it in lisp rather than going to college. Saludos!
Abhijith.G I am 22 as of today April 10th 2007.I joined a company called DeepRoot Linux in November 2006. At DeepRoot I saw my friend and colleague Isaac working on emacs. He used to show me cool stuff that emacs can do(very few things it cant do! ;) ). I used to observe that he used to do something like M-x load-file and supply plugins to emacs. Plugins??? Yes thats what I thought *it* was. My friend pointed out that the thing that I thought as plugins were not plugins but other programs!!!. This was the eye-opener. I was fascinated by the concept of Programs as data to other Prorgrams! Thus the Journey to enlightenment began ....
Cameron Desautels, born 1984
I've been programming half my life (literally), and I feel like I have always been thinking in Lisp. What a pleasure it was to find it! I thought I was going to have to create it. I have a blog here: http://keyboardphilosopher.com.
'(Lisp is the red pill)
Yakov Zaytsev, born 1985
Lisp is my last programming language.
Oliver Charles - 1989
Another from the '89 generation. 18 at the moment, studying computer science innovation at lancaster university (1st year) then continuing here or elsewhere to do a PhD. Standard route to lisp - BASIC, Algol-like, Lisp. For a more detailed path of languages it would be DarkBasic, BlitzBasic, C, C++, C#, boo, Python, Ruby, back to Python, Common Lisp. Those are the major ones, of course I've dabbled in others.
Interested in software engineering principles, metaprogramming, and elegant code design. Not to say I'm there yet though ;-)
Conor Manning - 1991
I've been dabbling in all sorts of computer programming over the last 2 years. I got started trying to create websites with PHP. I never really liked the language much. I think programming languages have a certain personality and PHP's is dependable, loyal, ...and utterly boring. I needed something better. Around then I tried Perl too. I don't think I lasted a week with it :)
The next language I flirted with was Python. I found it.. strange. I liked some of the ideas. It combined PHP's steadfastness with a nice syntax. In the end I just felt uncomfortable using it. I don't know why.. I was just uneasy with almost everything about the language.
Ruby was the next big language for me. I let myself get caught up in the Rails hype and I found I had a terrible attraction to the language. If any programming language can be called sexy, it's Ruby. The code looks like English, and what's more - it had closures and beautiful loop constructs like nothing I'd seen before. I'm still quite fond of her.. I got out of the rails hype and saw that Ruby really is a powerful language as well.. Then it happened. I just.. didn't want to be a web programmer anymore.
C++. How could I ever love something so ugly? It might have been there for me.. but it was so clumsy and awkard. I was under the idea (as an impressionable young coder) that since all the cool Unix kids were hacking with it I should too. I also got the idea that it was the only compiled language worth learning, and that I HAD to pick a compiled language for speed and distribution. So.. that relationship was never going to last. I got quite good at it; I enjoyed the challenge of taming this beast. In the end, however, that's what it was - a beast.
So I came upon Common Lisp. Immediately I knew it was more than just the fascination that I had for the other languages.. this was love. It just made sense. Of course statements should be in brackets.. it's worked for mathematicians for years (: Functions as data.. essential. Why shouldn't we be able to program our programming language? If it's on a computer it can be hacked - that's what I say! Ahh I'm in the sweet, sweet bliss of young love, and my future is bright alongside Common Lisp.
Ali Clark - 1989
19 at time of writing, started life with the web page 2 years ago and moved on to PHP for that purpose. Decided Java might be the next thing to learn as I grew interested in the desktop.
This brush with traditional OOP scarred me for life, and after temporarily pondering Ruby, saw that Lisp was the real deal. Currently interested in ways to reduce barriers for newcomers and may build a website for this purpose. Incredibly excited about the coming of lisp.
Sturm Mabie - 1993
Currently 15 years of age. All started when I decided, at the age of 12, that windows sucked and switched to Linux. Much to my chagrin at the time, the language I had previously hacked in, BlitzBasic, was not available for my new neat-O OS. After suffering in a Gnome/Gedit hell for a long time and trying to grok the kludge called C++, switched to Emacs and C. I, of course, learned about Lisp from Emacs, and proceded to learn Common Lisp from Seibel. Half way through, determined CL sucked, and picked up PLT Scheme. After about a month, determined that not being able to use SLIME was worse than CL, switched back and then proceeded to consume Graham. Currently trying to write a small Lisp implementation in C for my hp50g calculator.
Justin Kendrick -- 1992, 17 now (2009)
I first got into programming 8 or 9 years ago, mostly qbasic and vba. From there I spent a while hacking in different languages, mostly c-derived. I usually ended up starting a compiler to give the language that One Feature it was missing; before I could finish the lexer I'd find another, somewhat nicer language, and the cycle would repeat.
About six months ago I got to chat with a CS professor at a nearby university. He turned me on to Haskell and Scheme, and from there I moved on to CL. Programming is fun again!
Currently playing with my own little lisp dialect, just to try out some ideas I've had. Oh, and I can't imagine how people actually input text in something other than vi. ;)
Born in '89, 20 years old. Just started programming in lisp. Lisp is awesome. Learned few languages before it, worked only with one.
Serge Kosyrev (aka Samium Gromoff), 1982
First I did too much metaprogramming in C for my own liking (for wrong reasons, in a retrospective), then Tom Lord and the Unix Haters Handbook dissuaded me from the world of 'worse is better' into the world of Lisp.
Francisco Vides Fernández
Born in 1974. Started to program in 1992. After some C, C++ and Java programming years, I discovered in 2001 SCSH, a Scheme for systems programming. Two years ago Later I found Common Lisp, and I has become my language of choice.
Linus Ericsson, 1983
Seems like I finally found my way home.
Caelan Reed Burris
I was born in 1992, and in 2004 I started programming with TI-Basic on my TI-83+. It all went downhill from there, and I haven't been able to keep Common Lisp implementations off my machines ever since I found Lisp in 2008.
born 1978. actually interested in classics and ancient languages, but - as it is with unix - can't keep myself from having fun with my debian and bsd boxes :). using primarily guile elisp and sbcl for scripting but also scsh, gambit and gcl if it does the job. emacs, sawfish and stumpwm user and proud of it! long live the lisp and scheme community! ;)
Born 1997. I got first contact with Lisp (Racket, indeed) in 2007, or something the like. Programming in Common Lisp since, what, 2008, I think...
Born 1997. Came across Common Lisp in 2010 and enjoyed it ever since (including Scheme, Racket). Programming in Lisp is a truly mind-opening experience, and more people are coming to the same conclusion.
Charles Lew (CrLF0710) Born 1990. Started with Scheme in 2009 and switched to Common Lisp in 2011. Just loving it.
Matthew Veety Born in 1993, and started hacking around 2005. Got into Common Lisp not long after.
Joshua Ryan Trout / nydel Born 1985. I've a high-functioning autistic disposition related to my constant need to understand all situations in terms of trees of tarot cards. When I found Lisp, in it I found another system -- a left-brained counterpart to the right-brained tarot system. This pair of faculties is that through which I can spell, word & punctuate my world as to function within it normally and happily among those with typical neurology.
Erik Greenwald, 1976. My first exposure was with PLT scheme in a theory of computation class. I've managed to sneak scheme into a couple enterprise projects and have lately been using Common Lisp (SBCL) with UCW quite a bit. I'm hoping to step into the startup world with Lisp as my secret weapon, current efforts at http://elfga.com.
Safia Abdalla Born 1996, Studying computer science/natural language processing/macine learning/information retrieval independently and via coursework for 3 years. Pythonista of 3 years. Discovered a better lambda the summer of 2012. Lisping all the way.
Kenneth Yan Born 1981. I am a SAS programmer, but I love lisp.
David Mullen (@logxor) 1984
We've all got to deal with puberty somehow. One way I coped is by learning something new—to write C and assembly, on MS-DOS and then Windows, using a computer rescued from a dumpster. Later I got Internet access and was exposed to Perl (naturally, because this was the late 1990s). Fast-forward a few years and I stumbled upon one of Erik Naggum's articles through a search I'd done. By this point I was already feeling vaguely discontent about the whole Perl/Unix mentality, with its weird fetishization of text, and of the munging of text. Likewise, I was already wary of C's mystique of being the embodiment of some imagined Essence of Computing, when C itself doesn't say much about the realities of modern hardware—such as branch prediction—any more than CL does.
But I'm getting ahead of my old self. Reading a bunch of rants on this obscure newsgroup called comp.lang.lisp—in a time well past Usenet's heyday, no less—put me on the scent of something important. I tried GCL because it was lying around, and I was immediately having more fun than I'd had with scripting languages. As is common knowledge, GCL hasn't exactly kept up with the times. Later I installed Clozure CL, which is a phenomenal piece of work, and I haven't shopped around since then. I'd certainly try a commercial CL if I had the budget. I've struggled to scrape together a living. I've lost touch with mainstream "hacker culture" and I don't really care. I've become—I admit it—an elitist, who forgot to get rich like a proper elitist. Perhaps I'll have an idea to (as they say) "monetize" and I can keep my use of CL a secret, because apparently that's the done thing in this modern world. In the meantime, here's my Common Lisp files that are available for browsing.
There's a particularly well-propagated school of thought that says you should learn Lisp because it will make you a "better programmer." As for me, I suspect that I'm roughly as good as I'm going to get. What I've taken from CL is a direct consciousness of the value of total inspectability—saying that everything is an object isn't far removed from saying that everything is thing, but being able to examine and tweak all of the (high- to low-level) objects that make up a system is a real advancement. So being a "better programmer" is one thing. Me, I just want better programs.