2nd day at 33degree

I had a lovely (meaning very informative) chat with Venkat Subramaniam this morning. I believe we spent an hour or so discussing how people apply technologies to solve their problems and how Venkat finds it a way to live on his own sharing his time between technology passions and the family. I learnt a lot and wonder if I ever manage to find so much energy to apply it in my life. It was a great discussion.

And suddenly Andrey Breslav from JetBrains’ Kotlin team showed up. That was the morning I’d not have imagined could ever have happened. He took a seat with us and we turned our attention to Kotlin. Who’d have guessed I’d be talking to two brilliant guys behind Scala and Kotlin during my breakfast. That was a very energetic breakfast!

Having taken a chance I immediately asked a question “Why Kotlin?” since I read an article at InfoWorld just two days about the different languages on JVM. I was mostly interested in their take on those esoteric languages like Fantom, Ceylon and Kotlin as learning languages for fun is a nice endeavor, but obviously takes time so I thought I’d have it finely lined up with a help from Venkat and Andrey. And guess what, I may be spending some time on the language having heard Java interop was a goal of the language, it’s quite small and staticly-typed (which seemed to have a great benefit for him). And all the new language features I could only imagine what they’re for has only whetted my appetite.

At one point he used the term “function” when we compare Kotlin to Java which I quickly asked Andrey about. I believe it was the moment when Venkat and Andrey mentioned extension functions in Kotlin. The link also remembered me about Gosu the language I’d never heard of before speaking to Andrey. It looks to me that extension functions are just functions that may be applied to different data structures which is all about functional programming in Clojure. You’ve got many functions for a data structure rather than having many data structures with a fewer methods.

I understood that Scala is too academic for Andrey which is what I think about the language, too, but it makes Scala even more compelling to try out :)

It was about 10 AM when we finished the chat and after a quarter talking to other people (thanks Radek Szmit for your time!) I moved to Lars Vogel’s presentation about Android 4.x. I mainly went to see his presentation to appreciate the way he presents a topic (Android was fine, but I was mostly interested in his presentation skills). They’re fine and could learn a bit from him, but will get used to some presentation skills he offered :)

When I joined Venkat in “Scala for the Intrigued” I was simply overwhelmed with his presentation skills and regardless of what Scala could do for me, it will remember the day. They said Venkat could turn a presentation into a highly interactive session with lots of fun. I concur.

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10 Responses to 2nd day at 33degree

  1. Jacek, thanks for really interesting notes from the 2nd day. I am wondering about learning new language (preferably something JVM-compatible) and still can’t make my mind about it. But thanks to such blog posts my understanding of things improves, and eventually I will be able to pick one! :)

    • Always happy to lend my hand. I’m also uncertain what and how many languages I should learn to make the process of picking the right one for a problem easier. I’m glad I spend my time on Clojure and am also considering F# and Scala (with JRuby and Dart as viable contenders).

      Should you have questions on the language you may think I know – Java and Clojure for now – I’d be glad to have a voice on them. To me answering questions is part of my learning process.

      BTW, why do you think you should learn a new language? What makes you think it may be worth your time?

      • The reason is very simple – I spent last 2 years almost entirely with Java and tests (writing book) and I need a fresh air. :) I want to touch NoSQL, node.js, HTML5 and a lot of other cool stuff that I had no time to try. A new language would be also nice. :)

        • Well, but you can’t be certain there’s a fresh air out there. Why do you think leaving Java after 2 years is worth your time? I’d say 2 years is almost nothing when there’re so many features to learn in Java 7 (regardless of their usefulness).

          But then, I would likely not be able to explain why I picked Clojure as the language to spend my time on.

          • I’m not saying I’m leaving Java, but I definitely want to try out some new things – Java 7 among them. As for Closure, why not, I might have a look.
            Anyway, these are my plans for future – I’m 110% busy right now.

  2. So that’s why you didn’t join us in House of Beer on Tuesday, you were writing a blog post.
    Shame on you Jacek, shame on you :)

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