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Peter Gabryanczyk - Type classes, monads, functional programming can be simple

  • Jul 11, 2012 · 6:30 PM
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Type classes, monads, etc. - functional programming in Scala can be simple!

I am quite excited how elegantly we can solve IO-bound problems like DB access with this new set of tools Scala and functional programming provides.
I've recently built a simple Cassandra client using actors, type classes and monads while migrating one of our systems at Zeebox from Amazon S3 to Cassandra.
It is simple and elegant (I believe :)) and it shows the real power of the language. So no more Java-like code written in Scala - It is functional but simple and powerful.

Until recently, I was scared myself whenever I've heard the phrase "type class" let alone monad or theory of categories. I realised that all it is, is just that mathematicians tend to overcomplicate things hiding it behind theorems and proofs. Real life examples of monoids, monads or type classes can be quite simple and understandable for everybody.

We will, as always, also be heading to the Slaughtered Lamb pub afterwards.


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  • Fernando R.

    Excellent. The live session was superb. The best way to learn a complex subject like this is by example. And Peter did an amazing job. Thanks a lot!

    July 15, 2012

  • Vladyslav Y.

    Good and practical session. Definitely helped me understand monads. I liked the real-time coding examples proving the concept in practice. Waiting for more Scala talks by Piotr G.

    July 14, 2012

  • Piotr G.

    Thank you guys! Slides and video are now available at

    July 13, 2012

  • Tomasz W.

    Walking through examples were great for explaining not that trivial concepts

    July 12, 2012

  • Noel K.

    Super interesting!

    July 12, 2012

  • Chris W.

    Comprehensive but unfortunately a little too quick for my Scala level

    July 12, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    The talk was the closest I've been to understand monads. I got lost just at the end though. Thanks anyway!

    July 12, 2012

  • Il buono, il brutto, il c.


    July 12, 2012

  • Yat

    Thanks for the responses guys. New to functional programming as well :s but keen to find out more so I will come along anyway

    July 10, 2012

  • Kevin W.

    And if Piotr can't explain it, then you're sure to find other people who can explain in different ways until one of them makes sense :)

    July 10, 2012

  • Piotr G.

    Yat if you know what implicit variable is and know how to create function which returns a function you should be ok. I'll explain the rest:)

    July 10, 2012

  • Andy H.

    Hi Yat

    I'll let Peter answer the novice/expert level of the talk but will say that the pub afterwards is a good place to get answers to problems and like best framework/ide/etc. Also come along to the dojo evening they are normally very mixed ability good way to get started.


    July 10, 2012

  • Yat

    I'm new to Scala (java background). Is this event suitable for a complete newbie?

    July 10, 2012

  • Andy H.

    Thanks Kwabena The visible version is correct
    and I've now corrected the links.

    June 18, 2012

  • Kwabena A.

    The skills matter link to this event points to a different page

    June 18, 2012

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