I think that the biggest job that the F# team have now, having already written an awesome language, is to get better adoption and improve the general understanding of what F# within the .NET community of what it is compared to C# and VB .NET – people out there think it’s just a “more functional” child of C# without the tooling support.
The tooling with parts of the framework and (in particular) the IDE experience in VS is to some extent holding back its adoption, plus the fact that many of the big names within the C# community haven’t really spoken much about it either.
This is a shame because F# has some really unique and powerful features, and it’s a language that has definitely opened my eyes not just to functional programming concepts but also to treating data differently – things like type providers are (to my mind) a real leap ahead of things like T4 templates, which is probably the closest thing that we have to them in C#.
So, I’m actually putting together a talk on F# for C# developers to try to show how the language can save time and money. Not that I’m an expert in the language (definitely not!) – but because even from the time I’ve spent learning and using it, I can see just how powerful it is compared to C#… it’s like having an unopened present sitting in the corner of your room that you never bother opening.
If you’re in a UG (particularly one in London :-)) and would be interested in an introductory session on F# from the C# developers’ perspective, and what it can bring to the table within the .NET space, drop me a line!