Is Haskell hard to learn?

Alex Rivers

Haskell is a programming language that is complex yet beautiful in its own ways. It has a small community of coders passionate about keeping this programming language alive. Many people from the tech world will tell you to learn Java, Python, and C++, but you’ll rarely find people telling you to learn Haskell. Why is that? Well, Haskell is not as famous as the three languages. But, is this programming language hard to understand? Let’s find out.

Haskell 101

It is a functional programming language. It is statically typed with type inference and has lazy evaluation, but it is not object-oriented like most languages these days. You will majorly find this programming language used in academia. Pretend to be a Ph.D. scholar, walking down the halls and libraries exploring books on Haskell and scrutinizing every page. Fascinating, isn’t it? There are certain things that you must know about this language.

Img Src: Haskell Language

Let’s dig in:

  • Haskell is not beginner friendly. You need to toil a lot to learn the language. It easily takes more than 1-2 months to get a hold of the language. Coders who have good experience in coding in Haskell also find it difficult at times.
  • The language is compact. Most people are used to coding in the OOP style of programming. Since Haskell is not OOP and purely functional, many people with a computer science background will also find it slightly hard. Haskell follows an “All or nothing” approach. This means you either follow the functional paradigm completely or not. This is what makes it purely a functional programming language.
  • The concept of Terse Syntax: Functions happen implicitly and not with parenthesis; for function arguments, commas are not used. While this makes the execution part faster, writing the code can still be confusing.
  • The documentation can come off as a little difficult for a beginner. Instead of using a solid example to explain a particular concept practically, it directly jumps to show how awesome the language is. There is no denying that fact, but it would be best if easy examples are laid out first, and then they slowly progress further with difficulty.
  • Last but not least is the use of one-letter identifiers. The whole idea behind it was to save time, but it could also be sheer laziness. This can be tricky to use because one cannot understand what a particular identifier denotes. It is still easier to use proper words because, naturally, it is easier to understand than just a letter of that particular word.


We don’t mean to scare you, but yes, Haskell is hard to learn. Should that stop you from learning it? Absolutely not! Who knows what great feat you can achieve after learning this language? Hurdles should not stop you from learning something new. It is no less than solving a puzzle. We say take up the challenge. Who knows? You might enjoy the journey of learning. Isn’t that food for thought? Think about it.

Also Read: Learn to make Block Comments in Java for Multiple lines

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