Haskell for everyone: lightning intro and hands-on coding workshop

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Curious about the Haskell language, why it exists anyway, what its goals are, and how it might be useful to you?

Forget the abstract mathematical gobbledygook out there on Haskell! I believe in learning by doing, by seeing, by trying, starting with the concrete.

Come to the first meeting of the new Pittsburgh Haskell (http://PittsburghHaskell.org/), where we are going to start on a really fun journey!

The format of the first meeting:

• short introductions by everyone

• 10-minute lightning talk by Franklin: the goals of the new meetup, the rationale behind the invention of Haskell in the 1990s

• workshop: learn iteratively through hands-on coding

For best results, come with your laptop already having Haskell installed. Here are my detailed instructions on a good installation (https://github.com/pittsburgh-haskell/haskell-installation), since the official documentation is imperfect right now.

Be prepared to write, run, and debug code. You can do this alone or find someone to pair with. A link to starter code is here for Git cloning (https://github.com/pittsburgh-haskell/haskell-intro-session).

Even if you have never seen Haskell in your life before, before you walk out the door this evening, you should expect to have done the following as a sampler on getting started with Haskell:

• worked within the fast and fun GHCi REPL/interpreter

• written your own HSpec (https://hspec.github.io/) unit test, run it, seen it fail, fixed it, seen it succeed

• written your own QuickCheck property-based (generative) test, made it work

• used Haskell as a no-compile scripting (http://downloads.haskell.org/~ghc/latest/docs/html/users_guide/runghc.html) language, writing and running an interactive terminal-based program

• used the Cabal (http://www.haskell.org/cabal/) packaging system to do things such as: use the GHC optimizing native compiler (http://downloads.haskell.org/~ghc/latest/docs/html/users_guide/options-optimise.html) to generate a standalone binary to run, run tests automatically, package your app as though ready to upload to the Haskell community central archive, Hackage (http://hackage.haskell.org/).

If you use Twitter, follow @PghHaskell (http://twitter.com/pghhaskell) for useful information.