I've been following the Haskell community for sometime, joining meetups, watching presentations from Haskell greats and learning drips and drabs. I love the idea of using Haskell for my personal projects, but is it realistic to expect to make the jump from tinkerer to employed developer? Especially as a JR developer?
Are there any industry niches where Haskell seems to flourish? Or any big companies we can watch for job openings? (The equivalent to OCaml + Jane Street)
Maybe I can develop my skills with a particular niche in mind to help bolster my employability when the opportunity comes?
Functional works hub does a good job of collecting Haskell vacancies: https://functional.works-hub.com/haskell-jobs. Standard Chartered is definitely the elephant in the room. They regularly post plenty of vacancies. Several companies have many Haskell projects in their portfolio (see https://serokell.io/ or https://www.tweag.io/ for examples). I wouldn't say that there is some specific niche. In fact, Haskell is usable everywhere, from blockchains and financial applications to web development. As far as I know, juniors are always welcome. I think we experience a shortage of developers at all levels.
I would imagine this is one of the largest blockers to any language adoption. From the Dev's perspective "What's in it for me?" I'm surprised and delighted to say Haskell has a good foundation in Industry that is ever growing. It's not just tied to a specific movement like going functional, Haskell makes sense to solve user problems.
I work in DevOps. I was interviewing a few months ago for a new job and when talking with leadership at one organization I found they were heavily dependent on Haskell for real time data processing. I ended up getting promoted internally, but I would have loved the opportunity to work at this other company. Lesson learned there are some hidden gems out there. Small Big companies, or bigger small companies, which offer a great product and have a great tech team using Haskell. After those interviews I see the company all over TV when news stations talk about the airline industry and provide airline data.
Thinking about your comments on Haskell being general purpose, it seems more similar to Python than focused languages like Node.JS or C++. Haskell has a good number of high quality libraries to facilitate productivity in a lot of areas, which I guess translates to industry by not being pigeon holed into one small niche.