Functional Programming

Scala or Go: Tastes Great or Less Filling?

Scala and Go (aka Golang) are two of the fastest growing leading-edge programming languages in the world. In the United States, they are also among the most lucrative. Scala and Go are among a slew of programming languages that innovate in numerous ways to produce faster, more resilient, more secure applications for a multicore, cloud native, mobile world. The thing is Scala and Go have very different philosophies on what makes engineers most productive and what defines great applications.

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Welcoming HealthCare.gov

Vidya is proud to have teamed with Accenture Federal Services to transition HealthCare.gov from a conventional Java monolith built with Spring into Scala microservices built with Play Framework. One of several factors that motivate software engineers is mission, and there are few missions more fulfilling than helping people access health insurance and ultimately health care as efficiently as possible. As American readers know, HealthCare.gov faces a lot of exogenous pressure as a proxy in a raging American political and economic maelstrom.

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The Business Case for Functional Programming

Functional programming isn’t exactly a fun topic anywhere outside of technical conferences and The Big Bang Theory. Even software engineers who love code often tune out when they hear terms like monad and referential transparency. But if you are a technical manager or executive, heads up. Functional programming will limit your technical debt so you build better software faster than you imagined and will earn you the Tesla you always wanted.

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Talking Trends at Tech Talk DC

I will be speaking at Tech Talk DC on October 25th in Arlington, Virginia, on Here’s What’s Trending In Software Engineering. Whether you build software, manage projects, or run enterprises, you’ll discover techniques and technologies that will give you an edge in the years to come. If you saw me speak on this topic at Code Writers Workshop in the summer, rest assured this talk will be different. First, I have added some wrinkles to the original list you will likely find compelling.

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It's Not Only About the Benjamins

The 2017 Stack Overflow Developers Survey had the most respondents since they began the project in 2011. You really should take a look. They cover a lot of ground, and the findings across geography and demographics are fascinating. It’s interesting most developers report feeling underpaid. That isn’t surprising to me, but it might be counterintuitive to people more accustomed to Stark Industries than to Pied Piper. It’s natural to follow up by asking which programming languages pay the most, and those answers did surprise me.

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Speaking at Code Writers Workshop 2017

The Code Writers Workshop is taking place outside Washington, DC on June 9th with the theme “Software Leadership in a New Era.” The speakers are a diverse, distinguished array of industry leaders who have done great things around the world. The keynote speaker, Kara DeFrias, was Director of UX for former Vice-President Joe Biden! The surprising thing is they’re letting me speak too. I have the honor of speaking on the topic “Here’s What’s Trending in Software Engineering.

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ScrumMaster++

Anyone with a basic knowledge of Scrum, and certainly everyone who has taken Agile Software Project Management With Scrum, knows the role of the ScrumMaster–to be a servant leader, to act as guardian of the Scrum process, to remove obstacles for the delivery team, to negotiate any tension between the Product Owner and the delivery team, to encourage the team to self-organize and be cross-functional, and so on. These are so well understood they’re almost clichés.

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A New Strategy for Scala

Alvin Alexander is a renowned software engineer and author. His Scala Cookbook was invaluable when I got started with Scala, and that book and his prolific blog posts have remained essential reading even as I’ve gotten better at it. One of Alvin’s most recent posts, How Scala killed the Strategy Pattern, is the latest iteration of an old criticism of the Gang of Four (Go4) Design Patterns by functional programming (FP) advocates–that you don’t even need them if languages provide sufficient abstractions.

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Analytics With Apache Spark Is Here

As promised earlier this year, we at Vidya are proud to officially announce our newest course Analytics with Apache Spark. Spark is a cool technology making an enormous–and growing–impact in the Big Data space, so naturally there are a lot of courses out there. Ours is different. Naturally we spend a lot of time on Spark itself with numerous code examples and challenging exercises, but we also stress the importance of things that have always mattered and still matter–architecture, security, and software engineering concepts like unit and integration testing, continuous integration, and continuous delivery.

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Talking Scala

If you are in the Washington, DC, area and love free pizza, I will be speaking at Polyglot Programming DC a week from today on Scala, a hot programming language for everything from web development to “Big Data” to Android development. Also, free pizza.

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