Apiumtech’s development team went to the Scala World conference in the UK. It is a project of recurrent conference about functional programming, scalable architectures, design patterns and a lot of interesting things regarding Scala.
The first meeting was at the Rheged Center, near Penrith, which is an awesome place to stay for the weekend. The Rheged Center is located in the Lake district, which is very well known because of many conference rooms, museums, and the nature surrounding it – beautiful, green place with a wonderful lake. Just by doing a quick research on google images you can find those kind of pictures:
This might be new information for you, but the conference was held in Lake district for a particular reason! As many developers in the Scala community are known to appreciate long walks and activities as climbing mountains, the organizers of the conference felt like the opportunity to combine the love of programming with the love of the outdoors was too good to be overlooked.
The auditorium where the conference was held was quite large and had a capacity of 260-seat, hosting almost all the talks. Other than that, there was a smaller venue; the Pennine Gallery, where eight workshop sessions were held.
LET’S TALK ABOUT SCALA
So now that we’ve described the place of the event, let’s talk about Scala.
First of all, I hope I won’t offend anyone with my comment, but I must say that I was a bit disappointed on the variety of topics presented. The two real winners were types and monads, and in my opinion, it could give a false impression and might be interpreted as if they were the only things that you can do in idiomatic Scala.
Types is a very useful tool when it comes to developing, but I believe that having that many talks regarding progressive interfaces and dependents types was not really necessary, I actually think that two or three would have been sufficient.
There also was a talk about a Scalaz module that is already deprecated due to a very poor performance. Obviously I was not the only one to think that it wasn’t really useful.
The talks about monads focused on the free monad (called Interpreter by the GoF), quite an interesting pattern actually! Unfortunately, it seems too abstract for daily coding. Usually at Apiumtech we follow the motto “Abstraction over Generalization”, making this pattern a premature generalization for us.
Keeping the best for the end, it was not all Functional Programming! There were talks about Akka performance, the new Akka Streams module (an extremely fascinating project) and how to profile different kinds of applications.
Finally, the talks that I personally found the most useful were focused on real problems we also find on applications in production:
- “Akka Streams” which is the newest addition to the Akka toolkit
- “Constraints Liberate, Liberties Constrain”
In conclusion, it was a nice conference, venue was great but for the next one I would recommend a few alterations concerning some of the talks/workshops!