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Main Meeting: An Introduction to F# for the C# Developer - Mathias Brandewinder

An Introduction to F# for the C# Developer

Back in 2010, Visual Studio shipped with a new language on board: F#. Out of curiosity, I started playing with it, and got hooked. F# is a fantastic language - it mixes functional and Object Oriented approaches seamlessly, encourages writing bug-free code (it is virtually impossible to get a null exception...), comes with great features, and is incredibly productive. For the C# developer accustomed to Object Oriented thinking, it can also be a bit daunting at first.

Mathias Brandewinder has been writing software in C# for nearly 10 years, and loving every minute of it, except maybe for a few release days. He is an F# MVP, enjoys arguing about code and how to make it better, and gets very excited when discussing TDD or F#. His other professional interests are applied math and probability. If you want to know more about him, you can check out his blog at or find him on Twitter as @brandewinder.

Meeting Agenda:

5:30-6:00 - Welcome/Food    
6:00-6:15 - Announcements    
6:15-7:45 - Presentation
7:45-8:00 - Give-aways

A special thanks to August's main meeting sponsor!


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  • Steven S.

    I need help picking the topic for Sept's main meeting. Please fill out this one page survey


    August 16, 2013

  • Elizabeth S.

    I am excited about the types. Tracking measurement units are so important in any scientific applications. I would have loved a programming language like this when I was a physics teacher. Students had no concert to add speed and acceleration together ;-)

    August 15, 2013

  • Mathias B.

    OK, so here are a few good resources to get started with F#: F# interactive window in the browser, with good intro and advanced tutorials, and some type providers examples the F# Foundation is the open-source hub for F#, contains lots of links and resources reach F# enlightenment by resolving F# Koans, learning one wisdom nugget at a time : F# for fun and profit is a nice website, with great examples and practical discussions

    ... on a different note, if you liked or hated the talk, feel free to rate me on SpeakerRate, so that other groups can enjoy / can be spared that talk in the future :)

    1 · August 15, 2013

  • David "Jeet" G.

    Apparently so blown away I couldn't spell "devastated".

    1 · August 15, 2013

  • David "Jeet" G.

    Amazing presentation. I've been to three "Intro to F#" talks over the years at various conferences always coming away thinking "I don't want to ever use this". Last night's talk changed my perspective 180 degrees. Now I can't wait for an excuse to break out the F# :) PS After seeing Type Providers, mind.State == Devasted

    1 · August 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was a really good introduction to F#. The R integration was a pleasant suprise. I plan to work on F#.

    August 14, 2013

    • Reinaldo T.

      Totally agree! I was reading a little bit about R about 2 weeks ago, and to see it in action on what it looked like a painless integration with a Microsoft product was really a pleasant surprise.

      August 15, 2013

  • Reinaldo T.

    Excellent presentation, having just a conceptual knowledge about F# I can say I got a good nice and useful intro to the F# language and the comparison between F# and C# helped me understand the concepts much better. Thanks.

    August 15, 2013

  • Steven S.

    Lot of people excited about Type Providers. Here is a video explaining it in depth

    1 · August 15, 2013

  • Parag D.

    It was a great introductory session, enough to give us a good start on the new language. I like the idea of using this for quick prototyping. Thank you for your time.

    August 15, 2013

  • mark h.

    Online compiler site, allowing anyone to play with (learn/test) their programming languages/scripts in their browser. This link will take you to the F# page.

    There are dozens more environments and two editors available (see their home page).

    August 15, 2013

  • Mathias B.

    Thank you all for coming tonight - great atmosphere and questions, I had a fantastic time. I'll post some more resources on how to get started with F#, but in the meanwhile you can find the code + slides here:

    1 · August 14, 2013

  • Paul S.

    F# is an important language for .Net developers to know, and Mathias did an excellent job at giving a good overview in a shorjt amount of time.

    August 14, 2013

  • Zel S.

    Very interesting. I think I will start playing with F#.

    August 14, 2013

  • Ash T.

    Mathias, great job contrasting F# and C#. "Type Providers" intrigued me.

    August 14, 2013

  • David W.

    Great presentation! Nice coverage of some of f#'s compelling features. Thanks Mathias!

    August 14, 2013

  • Steven S.

    Glad to see interest in this topic. If there are other topic you wish to see, please let me know.

    August 13, 2013

  • John


    August 12, 2013

  • NANCY S.

    Thanks for the email updates.

    July 25, 2013

  • Reinaldo T.

    I look forward to F# in action and from the C# perspective. A few years ago, we played with F# a little but never got the chance to build any serious project that would justify the learning curve for functional programming. I get the feeling I am going to enjoy this presentation. :)

    July 23, 2013

  • Kevin R.

    I plan to be there. This will be my first meeting. I currently code in C# at LabCorp in Burlington, but I live in RTP area.

    July 11, 2013

  • Paul S.

    I am very interested in learning F#. @Mathais, if you would, when you present, please translate a few terms for us into English (or maybe even better, translate them into C#): What is "currying functions", what are "closures", what are "monoids" and "monads", when do you have one, and what do you do about it in F#. For monads, I suggest a good way to explain them is to show what they are in C#, then show how and why F# handles them better. Finally, I am very interested in understanding how to invoke concurrent processes in F# and how to have C# drive my GUI and F# drive my math function processing -- how do I hook them up so they talk to each other most efficiently.

    3 · June 24, 2013

    • Mathias B.

      That's a lot of questions/topics :) I'll be discussing some of these a bit (currying and closures) because they are directly useful, but the talk itself will be monad-free, simply because I think the topic is potentially confusing, and not very important to understand why F# is awesome (happy to discuss the topic around beers afterwards). And I'll show some F# + C# together - because if you can get the best of both worlds, you certainly should!

      1 · July 4, 2013

    • Ian C

      All this talk seems to suggest that the after party needs to be at an Indian restaurant just before closing time (currying and closure... I'll get me coat). And where a pint of of IPA can be syllabically efficiently ordered as simply "PA".

      2 · July 5, 2013

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