Annual Scala Days Conference was this time held in Berlin on June 15th – 17th, 2016. This year we were lucky to participate in this great event.
The Scala Days Berlin 2016 was a big conference. It hosted approximately 1,000 people from all over the world. The conference provides a unique opportunity for Scala developers to share their expertise and ideas about creating applications with Scala and related technologies.
During the conference, we had to choose the sessions we wanted to participate in from four parallel sets of presentations. Have to say, that was challenging since the selection of presentations was extremely interesting. Among all the interesting speakers there was one, who was like a rock star for all participants. Martin Odersky, the man who designed Scala, opened the conference with a very inspiring speech about the future of Scala.
Nowadays there is a steady growth in using Scala. Based on statistics, Scala is in the top-5 most loved language and the developer world is irrefutably moving to Scala. The most compelling advantages of Scala are:
- powerful libraries
Another strong positive side of Scala is that anyone who has a background in Java can easily start working with Scala. Therefore, we encourage all developers to try it out. Quoting Martin Odersky "my goal is to make Scala the best possible programming language I possibly can", and according to the roadmap of the new release, they are moving towards this direction.
Scala 2.12 has a lot of improvements to the type system, type inference, and value classes. It provides shorter code and faster execution speed. Also, Scala 2.12 is optimized for Java 8, it uses Java 8's lambdas and default methods. Scala 2.12 will be released in the middle of 2016 and we will be able to use a lot of new useful features. So stay tuned!
Today, people demand more and more from an application. They don't want to wait for more than a second for it to respond to their actions and at the same time, the demand for information storage size is growing.
So, it's not a surprise that the most thrilling topics in the conference were reactive applications, big data, machine learning, streaming etc. We had a chance to see a lot of examples using Docker, Apache Spark, Apache Cassandra, and Akka framework to create reactive, distributed, and concurrent applications in Scala.
Also, many of the sessions were focused on microservice architecture style. Even though there is no clear definition of what it is and how it should be done, this method of development has grown in popularity in recent years. The main idea of microservices is an approach to developing an application as a set of small, independently deployable, modular services where each service runs only one task and communicates with each other by using a clear-cut mechanism. This idea of microservices is close to Unix philosophy.
All presentations were recorded and will be shared in the coming weeks on YouTube Channel. You can subscribe to the channel here and get notified when the videos are released.
If you are interested in learning Scala there are four courses on Coursera (individual unverified courses are for free).
- Functional Programming Principles in Scala
- Functional Program Design in Scala
- Parallel Programming
- Big Data Analysis in Scala and Spark
Also, we recommend you to read the new and third edition of "Programming in Scala" by Martin Odersky, Lex Spoon, and Bill Venners.
And last but not the least: we had an amazing opportunity to explore Berlin. Without a doubt, this fascinating and diverse city has its own vibe. Despite the dark scars of history, Berlin remains very vivid with an enormous amount of bars, clubs, cafes, art galleries, and happy people. We really enjoyed it.
All in all, we were very impressed with the way the conference was organized. A lot of snacks, coffee, tea, and beer (remember, we were in Germany) were served for us all day long. Also, we got a lot of souvenirs from sponsors, like stickers, t-shirts, and books.
But most importantly, this conference was all about inspiration. We can't wait to start using all the new things we've learned from the conference. Thank you Valamis for this great opportunity! We encourage all of you to continue learning new things, never stop communicating, and never stop exploring the world around you.
Natalia Vorobyeva, Software Developer
Maxim Minin, Senior Software Developer
Pictures from Scala Days and taken by Fritz Schumann