Newsletter 5: Xmas Reading


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which means at Underscore we’re all tearing about like over-excited six year olds. In fact we can’t wait another 19 days, so here is our Christmas present to you: a free preview of Essential Scala. Link only available to subscribers. Sorry! Essential Scala is a guide to producing robust and maintainable Scala code for developers new to Scala. We’ve been working on this book for the best part of a year, taking our training material and adding the extra depth that the written word affords us. We’re getting great feedback in our courses (like “this may be the best training course I’ve ever been on”) and we’re really excited about sharing our approach to learning Scala with a wider audience.

The preview includes the first three chapters (not counting the introduction and installation chapters), covering up to traits and discussing algebraic data types and structural recursion, two of the most important patterns for idiomatic Scala code. We’re still making some final changes to the book, so you might notice some typos in a few places. If you’d like to get hold of the full book it can purchased online. If you purchase a copy you’ll receive free upgrades for the life of the book. We are also offering a pre-release version of Essential Play.

Scala Exchange

The other reason we’re tearing about is that next week is Scala Exchange. With four of us talking and the diversity program to organise we’ve had a lot to do. Oh, and if you visit our website you might notice it’s been completely redone (we’re even moved to a new domain name).

At Scala Exchange I’m speaking on our approach to teaching Scala. This will cover the broad structure of Essential Scala as well as going in depth on algebraic data types, structural recursion, and sequencing computation. I’m on at 10am on Monday — right after Martin’s keynote — which means I can enjoy the rest of the conference without worrying about my presentation.

At 5pm on Monday Dave is talking about building a functional validation library. What I really like about Dave’s talk is that he shows how to systematically go from design to implementation by applying Scala patterns such as you’ll find in Essential Scala. I think his talk will be great for developers of many skill levels.

Miles, talking at 10am on Tuesday, will cover the latest discoveries in type astronautics. In particular he is describing how we can use shapeless to provide case class like conveniences of our own choosing. Definitely one to attend if you want to see just how far Scala can be pushed.

Finally, Richard is discussing some of our experiences running code reviews. I’ve listened to his talk and I think he makes some really good points that go beyond a simple good code/bad code dichotomy and consider the organisational context in which code is produced. His talk is at 4pm on Tuesday.

Training Courses

Immediately following Scala Exchange is Miles’ Shapeless Workshop , and then I’m teaching a one day course on Scalaz (use the coupon code sorry, only for subscribers if you want 10% off that).

Functional Media

Functional Media returns the following week. This time we’re hosted by GSMA, who will tell us about their adventures applying Scala to the problem of collecting and analysing data for the mobile industry.

And after all that I think we will all be ready for the Christmas break. If you are at Scala Exchange, do come and say hi. Either way do let me know your thoughts on Essential Scala. Just reply to this email.

Have a great Christmas and New Year.


P.S. Thanks to the generosity of Skills Matter, at the last moment we have a few tickets to give away for Scala Exchange. If you would like to go to the conference on Monday but don’t have a ticket drop me a line right now and we’ll put you into the draw.

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