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#Arrested Developers: What the Scala Compiler & Lucille Bluth Have In Common

Fiona Condon (fioroco)

http://fiona.io/

GIPHY

Abstract

Scala is an elegant and expressive language--so why are its compilation errors so imperious and opaque? I'll talk about my experience transitioning to Scala development from PHP and make a case for a compiler that helps programmers discover the language (with the help of lots of Lucille Bluth gifs).

Description

  • "Scrutinee is incompatible with pattern type"
  • "A pure expression does nothing in statement position"
  • "The static coercion from type a to b involves an indeterminate type"

Scala is an elegant and expressive language--so why are its compilation errors so imperious and opaque? I discovered Scala in the perfect storm of bad learning conditions: in a rush, in parallel with a map-reduce API, and as a blocker on the critical path to launching my other work after years of mostly PHP development. In that context, the Scala compiler seemed so unforgiving and inscrutable that I used to read the errors in the voice of Lucille Bluth. In this talk, I'll revisit that experience--and the process of coming to discover the beauty of the language--through Arrested Development gifs, and envision a world in which Scala compiler errors were written to provide entry points to Scala's core values and design, rather than a terse accusation of the programmer's wrongdoing.

Notes

This would be a brief and mostly joke-y talk, but with some technical content around specific common errors and the higher-level concepts they correspond to!

Bio

Fiona Condon is a search engineer at GIPHY, where she tweaks queries to help you find the perfect gif. Before that, she tweaked queries at Etsy to help you find the perfect gift. She lives in Brooklyn, NY and she hosts an online radio show from a shipping container every weekend.