Hi, I'm Kevin van der Vlist

Hello everyone,

Kevin here, a software engineer at a large financial institution and also a PDEng student at a Dutch university.

My background in language engineering stems from an interest in programming languages. In combination with wanting to learn more about software engineering I ended up at @jurgen.vinju 's group to get my master’s.

After doing standard software consulting for a while and only tinkering with languages, I ended up at my current employer where I worked on DSLs for financial systems (mostly model checking, testing and code generation). My colleagues and I also supervised a number of master students from various universities on these topics.

Next to non-DSL related activities I now work on a DSL project for composing middleware systems (mostly program synthesis and code generation, with maybe some future work for model checking). This is where being a PDEng student comes into play.

My interests and things I want to learn are:

  • DSL design (especially design choices)
  • (co)evolving languages and systems
  • debugging of DSLs…
  • … but also of generated systems
  • making tooling more accessible

Making tooling more accessible requires some additional clarification. In general I feel that it is quite hard for ‘outsiders’ to get started. Whether it is plain parser generation stuff like ANTLR, language workbenches (Rascal, XText, …) or whole platforms like MPS or Eclipse Epsilon, it always feels like you need to make a really big investment before you can even start to understand what it exactly is you are diving in. This means it becomes very hard to attract others to this domain, especially in industry.

Given that I’m in both an academic context (which is completely ‘open’) and a very strict, commercial context (my employer) it is sometimes hard to talk about details, but I will try my best :slight_smile:


Interesting topic :smiley:

You are so very right. I think that we as a community need to figure out how to reduce these barriers.

That said I find some tools (like ANTLR) much easier to get started with compared to others (like MPS, which I love)

Yes, this is a common problem :slight_smile:

Welcome Kevin, we are happy to have you here!