Functional Problem Solving! with Nathan Dotz

It's OK to admit it: All your friends are coming in to work in the morning talking about that wicked sweet algorithm they wrote in like 3 lines of OCaml, and you're a little jealous. You went and downloaded haskell and clojure and started playing around and then: "OH GOD HOW DO I WRITE A LOOP WAIT WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT HOMOICONICITY WHAT DO YOU MEAN MONAD WTF IS ZYGOHISTOMORPHIC PREPROMORPHISM I JUST WANTED TO WRITE A PROGRAM"

It's cool. We won't tell anybody.

If you've been having higher-order-function envy, we've got the perfect thing for you -- we're holding a support group for the object-ively minded, to help you recover and learn to live functionally.

We'll test-drive some common problem-solving patterns in a comfy JVM language, and you'll leave feeling relieved that the next time your co-worker needs help figuring out why his recursion is not tail-call optimized, you'll be there to show him how to fix it.

Maybe you don't need a meeting on being functional. That's cool too, we won't tell your sponsor. If that's the case, you should show up anyways, since there's a 99.95% chance of unhealthy food. No stale donuts and weak coffee here.



Nathan Dotz is a software engineer at Detroit Labs, where miracles are performed on mobile devices, and a founding member of the All Hands Active Hackerspace, which has been working steadfastly to awesomify the brains of creators for over 3 years. He’s an open-source contributor, an open-education advocate, and a functional programming fanboy.

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  • Amber C.

    Just a reminder: this is tonight! And I'm getting it catered by Pizza House. That's right, no more individual orders, just boxes/pans of tastiness!

    July 2, 2013

    • Wen Cheng L.

      Thanks for your effort on organizing all these!

      1 · July 3, 2013

    • Amber C.

      My pleasure! :)

      July 3, 2013

  • Abdul H.

    Useful and entertaining

    2 · July 3, 2013

  • Bob A.

    Tweeted by unknown earlier today: "Immutability: The property of functional programmers that prevents them from shutting up about pure functional programming." Couldn't resists given this session's topic. ;-)

    2 · July 2, 2013

  • Richard Alexander G.

    I am sick - virus cold

    July 2, 2013

    • Amber C.

      Ditto what Nathan said!

      July 2, 2013

    • Bob A.

      Thanks for the generosity of not sharing in this case. Next time.

      1 · July 2, 2013

  • Jason S.

    This really is a great topic! Hooray for functional programming and "higher-order function envy!"

    1 · June 30, 2013

  • RonEco

    Well the Coursera course by Odersky was pretty hard - to learn scala and functional programming at the same time. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can get from a couple hours with Natahn.

    June 9, 2013

    • Nathan D.

      Scala is not really difficult itself. Odersky did a very good job of explaining some rather intense computer science topics such as Referential Transparency, Covariance versus Contravariance, Combinatorics, and Set theory. However, one doesn't become a computer scientist overnight, and in much the same way as we do not need to write a compiler before understanding printf("Hello World!"); we don't need to fully grasp contravariance to benefit from the type system, and we needn't understand the implications of referential to start thinking functionally.

      June 10, 2013

    • Nathan D.

      Odersky walked you through the principles of functional programming, I'm going to show you how to fall off your horse enough times that you start getting how to do it yourself :)

      1 · June 10, 2013

  • Mike W.

    Awesome topic

    1 · June 8, 2013

    • Nathan D.

      Mike, I adapted this just for you. ;)

      June 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I've got my Tuesdays tied up for the next couple months. I look forward to attending these when there is more time. Cheers!

    June 10, 2013

  • Abdul H.

    @steve, Consider this book: Functional Programming for Java Developers

    1 · June 9, 2013

  • Steve R.

    I am old(school); my first language was FORTRAN IV. I love C (with no suffixes) and Java. I have coded Lisp and PROLOG. But I can't wrap my mind around F#. Can anybody recommend a good functional language to play with that has an accompanying tutorial written for linear thinkers? Thanks!

    June 9, 2013

    • Nathan D.

      Well actually be using scala for this talk, which is rather handy due to its hybrid nature.

      June 9, 2013

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