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

  • Erzsebet 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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