RFC: "Haskell Camp"

This is an idea I’ve been kicking around for a while now. I’ve been trying to think of ways to connect experienced Haskellers with Haskellers-to-be in a lightweight, fun way. It’s more an idea-of-an-idea right now, but I wanted to share early to get feedback before making it more concrete.

Haskell Camp will be a time-bound, online event where people who wish to learn Haskell (“Learners”) get connected with people who wish to help people learn Haskell (“Helpers”).

  • You can sign up either as a Helper or a Learner.
  • Learners will be grouped and paired with a Helper.
  • Each Helper will have a guided exercise meant to get a beginner’s feet wet in Haskell.
    • Think of it like a “craft” you’d do at camp as a kid. They have guided structure around the technical parts, but still allow for the person doing them to be creative and problem solve.
  • Helpers can also pair program, set up people’s tooling, etc to help.
  • There will be a Discord server where everyone involved can chat and help each other learn.
  • The timespan could be a weekend or it could be over the course of a couple weeks or month with people working async. I’m not sure what would be best.
  • People can submit skeletons for projects even if they don’t actively lead a group.
  • People are free to join the Discord just to passively answer questions and help people ad-hoc.

During the actual event, Learners will be assigned to a mentor Helper who will help them through a guided exercise catered to Haskell beginners. The guided exercise is up the Helper themself. There could be some pre-existing exercises to choose from (some people are better at writing and some are better with people, after all).

Some “craft” ideas off the top of my head:

  • Make a CLI with optparse-applicative
  • Make an apecs-gloss game
  • Adapt “Write Yourself a Scheme in 48 Hours”
  • Make a static site with Hakyll
  • Make a simple webapp with LIBRARY STACK
  • Make a TUI with brick
  • Concurrency exercises
  • Work through existing material (e.g. Haskell via Sokoban)

So would anyone be interested in this, either as a Helper or a Learner? And does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? I’ve never hosted any sort of online event, so I’m very open to feedback!

Parallel thread on Reddit


What about some activities for more intermediate haskellers?

In my case, I don’t think I fit very well as a beginner, but I also don’t feel very qualified to help someone else beyond a cli app, but I think it would be cool to do something like a small project with another intermediate haskeller

maybe this is beyond the scope of what you would like to accomplish but hey, maybe an idea for another event!


That’s a good question! What sort of things would you like to work on?

I could imagine people exchanging Github issues on their personal projects. Many intermediate Haskellers have small, interesting projects (I’m not talking about big popular repos).

So you write up some somewhat detailed issues for features. Then you pick up issues from other projects. Kinda like a secret santa.

There was the matchmaker project. I don’t know what became of it.


Would you consider using the free and open-source Zulip platform instead of proprietary, actively-anti-privacy Discord?


I would consider it. Discord in general doesn’t sit well with me due to how much is swallows information. So this is honestly a very fair point. But it is very accessible and ubiquitous - I don’t know how to figure out if using Zulip would cause people to not participate who would have otherwise. That’s such a trivial thing though…saying it out loud sounds silly.

I guess I could also use Mattermost, which is more similar to Discord?


I could even use Discourse tbh

what you suggest seems interesting!

i also thought of this to options:

  • something like summer of haskell lite, where intermediate haskellers familiarize themselves with working in larger haskell codebases and more complex development workflows, in hopes of preparing them to later contribute to projects like hls
  • from a (collective?) “brainstorming session” create new projects in teams, or implement new features/ideas on existing (relatively) small projects.
  • a good ol’ hackathon ?

I’m thinking that an (ideal) expected time commitment would be not longer than a month? 5-8ish hours/week? ofc, with hopes of reducing it for busy people and desertions

i don’t know if this is particularly attractive to other intermediate haskell users, but (depending on school work, mostly) i’d be interested in participating

1 Like

Perhaps matrix/element would be even better since that also has voice and video calls?


As well as an active Haskell community.

1 Like

How about a Discord fully bridged to a Matrix?

I thought about it and I think eschewing Discord entirely isn’t practical. A lot of the beginners who could be interested would prefer Discord (NeoHaskell having so many people join is evidence of this). But closing the data entirely in Discord is definitely in principle wrong. So Discord<->Matrix seems like a nice compromise.

And when the Helpers get paired with Learner(s), they can of course communicate by any means they prefer.

I would be interested in participating as a Learner in such a camp. For me, the schedule would have to be either weekends (preferred) or async.


I would also be interested participating as a learner.


This is an awesome idea. I would be interested in participating as a learner, and could be a helper on Haskell basics like recursion, pattern matching, lists, etc. Has there been a discord server or community platform created yet?


Nothing yet! I have the beginnings of something more concrete. It’s gonna be pretty busy the next few months between my job + the holidays, so maybe sometime after the new year I’ll be back with specifics? There’s clearly interest on both sides!


Awesome, I’m looking forward to it. Let me know if you need any help setting the thing up!


When haskell camp started , what are outcomes i will gain after finishing this program?

1 Like

When haskell camp started

I’ll circle back to this with something more concrete sometime this year! :v:


I wrote some learning material which you might be interested in. (Sorry for the self promotion :smile: ). Feel free to use it