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Rabih Moussa climbs off an Air Inuit turboprop in the tiny subarctic town of Schefferville in northern Quebec. He’s wearing a long black leather jacket, with a laptop bag slung over his shoulder—not exactly standard attire in these frigid climes. The high-end electronics inside his flat silver case had raised eyebrows at the X-ray machines back in Montreal. ”Airport security thought I was a terrorist,” Moussa says, smiling cheerfully.

Moussa, who was born and raised in Lebanon, is in fact a satellite telecommunications expert with OmniGlobe Networks, a Montreal-based start-up that specializes in providing wireless Internet access to far-flung parts of the globe. His suspicious aluminum briefcase contains a spectrum analyzer, for identifying signals that may be interfering with a network’s reception. For much of the last year, he’s been upgrading the feeble Internet networks of the Naskapi Nation, an indigenous group living on and around the 55th parallel, about 1100 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, in Canada.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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