What kind of projects to work on and getting a job as OCaml dev


#1

I am a CS student, who likes FP and wants to use a functional language, preferably OCaml at job after graduation. (1) What kind of projects to work on or things to do/learn to improve my chances of getting hired as an OCaml developer? I am currently reading Intro to FP by Bird and Wadler and Category Theory for Programmers by Milewski. But I feel like this is not enough and I need more immersion into FP algorithms, patterns, and practice. Any advice?

Afaik, there are not that many companies using OCaml and getting in those is hard. Probably a stupid thing to say, but (2) what do you use OCaml for? The only project option I see is server-side development with ocsigen and probably using js_of_ocaml/bucklescript for frontend.


#2

Here is a not-so-short list of companies that use OCaml. I work at Citrix in Cambridge, UK – send me an email if you would be interested.


#3

To get good at programming, write lots of programs. I can recommend, for this month, the Advent of Code challenge, which is great fun. In general, if you’re interested in programming, just scratch any itch you have using the language you’re trying to become an expert at.


#4

There are A LOT of companies using ocaml for stuff non web related. And given all the emails I saw recently, I’d say that doing a project related to a blockchain would almost guaranty you a job.


#5

I believe you should not overthink this. There is indeed a large scope of companies using ocaml and some topics might be a bit more popular right now.

But what matters more is that you try to focus on a topic you find more interesting. You’ll be likely more focused on it and it’ll increase your chances of effectively be hired to work on this broad topic. But more importantly we are talking about a fair share of your life for at least of few years, it would be silly to decide what you will do during this time only based on short term optimizations of hiring possibilities.

Again there are companies using ocaml from web dev to static analysis via network infrastructure services or blockchain systems.


#6

I think that working through Purely Functional Data Structures by Okasaki could be a lot of fun.

https://www.amazon.com/Purely-Functional-Data-Structures-Okasaki/dp/0521663504