The best of Lambda Days 2015
You can look with admiration and envy to the US or European based conferences like Strangeloop, NDC Oslo, NDC London or Erlang Factory San Francisco. Thankfully, conferences list in Poland looks better year after year (e.g. amazing DevDay, EuroClojure 2014 or incoming Elixir Conf EU 2015). Still, I was not aware of fact, that there is a conference dedicated purely to the functional programming. Thanks to the @lechglowiak I discovered such amazing conference in Kraków (so it is relatively close to the place where I live).
Yes, I am talking about Lambda Days 2015. Organization, venue and prepared tracks raised the bar high. Great kudos to the organizers for creating such amazing event! I am glad that I could take part in such awesome and inspiring experience.
In this blog post I would like to focus on the best presentations which I have seen live. Please note, that list is far from complete. Parallel tracks caused hard choices sometimes. I am still catching up with the rest of the talks, thanks to the uploaded videos.
My Top 5
- How computers change our brains. Can screen-time cause mental or neurological disorders? by Kinga Panasiewicz - Very inspiring and scientific talk about the most precious part of our body - brain. As people which constantly learns and, what is even more important, we use brain in our daily work without rest, we should know almost everything about the possible damage and “hygiene”. I am a little biased, because I love learning about that topics, but I recommend watching it. Good mental health is a key for effective and stress-less work.
- Understanding Cancer Behavior with F# by Evelina Gobasova - Being a part of such research team can be intimidating, but also rewarding. Your impact as a computer scientist cannot be more meaningful than that. Highly inspiring talk, with many technical details related with F#. If you are interested in type providers or using functional programming as a data scientist, it is highly recommended to watch it (but it is not uploaded yet).
- Building systems in Clojure by Matthias Nehlsen - I am following Matthias blog and work (on his book and side projects) and I was not disappointed. Presentation described practical approach to the building systems, not only in Clojure, but in general with use of the functional programming language. If you are interested in such details, I recommend to watch this talk (video is not available yet).
- State, Communication and Side-Effects in Idris by Edwin Brady - I was blown away by features and capabilities of Idris. Literally, this talk just blown my mind - dependent types looks really promising. Even if someone claims that it is a purely academical thing (but in presented context, it does not look as a purely theoretical work) it is still valuable at least to briefly look at it. Mostly for expanding your horizon and drill your brain.
- Lessons from Erlang VM by Michał Ślaski - I am a huge fan of Erlang ecosystem, mainly because of pragmatism and focus on building reliable and resilient systems. Moreover, a lot of time we speak how to build such systems and we treat the maintenance part as a side-effect and something not worth our attention. It should be exactly opposite! Most of the time related with software lifetime is spent in the maintenance phase. We need to build mission critical systems on a solid foundation, with maintenance in mind from the day zero. Talk recommended for people interested in getting familiar with Erlang VM features overview, which ease building systems with such requirements (talk video it is not uploaded yet).
Stickers on participant badges and Lambda Academy
During the conference there was an interesting exhibition. I noticed, as probably most of the people, strange sticker on my participant’s badge. It turns out, that one of the stands has Raspberry Pi installation with NFC tag reader (yes, it is a NFC-powered sticker). This sent an XMPP message to the MongooseIM each time when someone scanned a badge. Everything built in Erlang (even the sticker scanner). Awesome idea!
This exhibition was dedicated to the Lambda Academy initiative. Software used at the conference - chat, voting system (back-end and mobile application) were created in a first iteration of lectures. Whole academy is focused on use functional programming languages and popularizing them in the community. Feel free to subscribe, in order to receive updates about new initiatives and future projects.
If you are a curious person, this conference is a must-be place for you. If you are an open person, eager to learn new stuff, especially - related with functional programming - go for it! I am looking forward to the Lambda Days 2016.