2013 is my year of Scala

Last night was the first meeting of the new Pittsburgh Scala meetup.

And this morning I suddenly signed up to attend the Northeast Scala Symposium (NE Scala) being held soon in February in Philadelphia!

2013 is my “year of Scala”. What does this mean?

“Leaving” Java

I just recently went through Martin Odersky’s “Functional Programming Principles in Scala” course. As a result of that, I decided on New Year that 2013 is going to be my “year of Scala”, which in practice means that I will use it as my main general-purpose programming language for software development wherever feasible. In particular, at work I have been in the process of converting a large Java project from using Maven for a complex build to using the Scala-based SBT instead (last year I was evaluating both SBT and the Groovy-based Gradle, but SBT won, after I figured out how to do what I need with it).

The beauty of Scala is that you can seamlessly continue to use existing Java code and libraries; this interoperability is a huge win, compared to other statically typed functional programming languages such as ML and Haskell.

The first Pittsburgh Scala meetup session

It was an informal social meeting upstairs in the Harvard and Highland bar (resulting from not yet obtaining an official quiet place to really meet regularly).

It turned out that only six of us showed up for this informal meeting. Jamie Forrest, who created this meetup group, was there, as was Josh Suereth, who works for Typesafe and has regularly been involved in Scala discussions and presentations in the Pittsburgh area. I also met three people I hadn’t known before, Andrii, Ashton, and Barrett.

It was kind of loud in the bar, so it was often difficult for me to hear, but I think we had a good time meeting each other and exchanging some thoughts about how we use Scala (or plan to use it) and why.

So now that we’ve gotten the meetup group off the ground, I look forward to a Scala community growing here in Pittsburgh! We decided that we need to find a proper meeting place, and we’ll start having people give talks, and come up with ideas for a group project to work on.

NE Scala

Also, at the meetup, Josh reminded us that there were still spaces left for registering for NE Scala. I hadn’t actually considered going, because I’m already very busy for January and February, but this morning upon waking up, I suddenly decided that maybe I should not pass up this opportunity to go and get the big picture of what the Scala community is up to!

In a flurry of email exchanges, I ended up registering for the conference with the idea of carpooling with Josh and sharing lodging, then Jamie got in on it too, so the three of us will be heading off to Philadelphia together in March. This will be my first out-of-town travel to a conference since PLDI 1998!


I’m definitely throwing myself into the Scala world now, with the Pittsburgh Scala meetup going and with my registration for the NE Scala conference.


NE Scala 2013 was quite intense.

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