Scala

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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Welcoming TRSS

Vidya is proud to be working with Thomson Reuters Special Services, a leading provider of threat detection solutions. Their software analyzes billions of public and proprietary records with innovative technology to deliver realtime, actionable intelligence to support sound decision making. We have joined a team of senior engineers with a wide variety of expertise. Currently, we are using Play Framework in Scala as the web application framework with an AngularJS interface to a backend MongoDB database.

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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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This Week In #Scala

Every week Petr Zapletal, a software engineer at Cake Solutions, publishes a must-read post for Scala developers called quite intuitively This Week in #Scala. We are proud to announce that our latest tutorial Nine Reasons to Try Scala was featured in this week’s edition. We would like to thank Petr for thinking enough of our tutorial to include it in This Week in #Scala. Please check it out this week and every week for the latest news on the Scala ecosystem.

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Analytics With Apache Spark Is Coming

At Vidya we currently offer two courses, Software Engineering in Java and Agile Software Project Management with Scrum. In response to popular demand…OK, like eight or nine people…we are currently working on a third course to be ready by Summer 2015 tentatively called Analytics with Apache Spark. As “Big Data” becomes more and more of a thing, there just aren’t enough software engineers who know the tools and techniques for doing meaningful, performant, cloud-scale analytics.

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When You Do Want None

In the applications I typically develop, I only care when strings are meaningful or when they aren’t because they are null (or nil, None, or Null depending on the language). Empty strings and strings containing only whitespace are this weird, in-between third category I really would prefer not to deal with. When I go to McDonald’s, I want to focus on the burgers and fries. I want absolutely nothing to do with the Filet-O-Fish.

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The Play's the Thing

Please take a look at my latest column for Government Computing News where I explain how to apply the guidance found in the White House’s new U.S. Digital Services Playbook, which embraces agile software development and open-source for building better government applications. Just to give you an idea, here is the unedited introduction. Software engineering is my passion--not just the technologies but the art of building software the right way.

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