Does anyone use the Scheme programming language to live?


I started learning Scheme for fun, and was wondering if anyone uses it for a living as a prime programming language... or even as an additional tool to the programming arsenal? If so, what do you use it for? What kind of problems do you typically solve with it?

There are plenty of people who write Scheme for a living. They're university professors, though, mostly in the field of programming languages--there are several here at Indiana University, like Kent Dybvig and Dan Friedman. They prototype new ideas in programming language semantics (and Dybvig also sells a Scheme compiler).

This is not a field that has a lot of paying customers, so technically the professors are paid because they have tenure at a university. But they got tenure by publishing new ideas in programming languages.

There are also some professors who advocate the use of Scheme as a teaching language, like Matthias Felleisen and the others behind PLT Scheme. They also write Scheme for a living.

Scheme is great for trying out new language semantics because it has very simple, powerful primitives and the uniform syntax lets you concentrate only on the semantics. If you are designing a new programming language, prototyping it in Scheme might be a useful first step. Scheme doesn't get in the way of new ideas because it includes so few of its own.