Coders Get Functional at Scala by the Schuylkill

The Philadelphia Scala community turned out in force last month for Scala by the Schuylkill, our one-day technical conference devoted to sharing real-world experiences and novel applications of the Scala programming language. We were so impressed by participation in the event that we’re already working to plan our next gathering with the Philadelphia programming community.

At Comcast, we use Scala daily across dozens of different departments and projects. Comcast programmers value Scala for its power, flexibility and functionality, particularly when we are tackling big programming challenges.

As participants noted, the Scala learning curve may be steep, but the payoff is well worth the time investment. Scala’s combination of strongly typed functional programming and modular object oriented programming helps our programmers write code that is concise and powerful.

Comcast Principal Engineer Michael Pilquist highlighted the value of Scala in managing the complexity of the software we develop at Comcast, in that it allows programmers to create the simplest, most elegant code possible to perform even highly complex functions.

Initially conceived as an internal Comcast meetup, we made the decision to open Scala by the Schuylkill to the public, based largely on the dynamism of the Philadelphia Scala community. The event was full to capacity within hours of opening registration.

Among the 12 technologists taking the stage during the jam-packed event were a number of programmers from outside of Comcast, including Rob Emanuele, from Azavea Inc., who discussed Scala design patterns in the GeoTrellis framework, Matthew Tobvin from Salesforce, who went into depth on type safety for machine learning, and Wingspan Technology’s Martin Snyder who walked participants through building a customer query engine with Quill.

Based on the fantastic experience with Scala by the Schuylkill, we’re working on developing a slate of similar events focused on key topics of interest and engagement in the Philadelphia tech community. We’re also already planning to host Scala by the Schuylkill here again in 2018.

Stay tuned here for what comes next.

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