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A review of Lambda World 2018 by Christian Wilhelm

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We love attending Lambda World so it's great to be able to send others along to enjoy the conference. Senior Backend Engineer Christian Wilhelm was the lucky winner of our Lambda World competition so had the opportunity to fly out to Cadiz to enjoy this year's conference. Read Christian's great review on being an attendee of this exciting Functional Programming conference.


'Before anything else, I want to say thank you to Signify Technology for sponsoring myself to attend Lambda World. I have been working with Scala for a couple of years now and since the beginning I have been interested in functional programming, so I was really excited to be able to visit my first, purely functional programming conference. In addition to that, fall was coming to Berlin and it was so nice to get some more sun in the beautiful city of Cadiz.

The first day of the conference was split into part workshop and part talks. The workshop sessions were 1.5 hours on 4 tracks and each talk had the usual length of 45 min on 2 tracks. On the second day, there were further talks and of course the Keynote.

I attended the Workshop “Build your own Monads” which focused on three different approaches to implement custom monads - initial, final and operational. In the workshop, we defined our own algebra and interpreter for our algebra. For me, it was really nice to collaborate with other people who attended the workshop and to learn and discuss the different approaches.

The second workshop I attended was “Blockchain Application based on Scala”. Due to technical issues, the workshop started with a delay and one part of the presentation was skipped completely. However, learning about libraries and tools like scorex one can use to build blockchain applications using Scala was very interesting and it motivated me to explore this topic further.

One of the highlights was the “Dueling Keyboards” talk. For me, it was the best talk of the whole conference. It was just awesome how Chris Ford explained scales, chords and tuning systems with the help of Clojure code and his Melodica, truly entertaining and informative. The talk ended with a live music performance where Chris built a whole song in code whilst playing his Melodica. Brilliant!

Another very nice talk I attended was “A road trip with Monads” from Paweł Szulc. In his talk, he went through the evolution of imperative code all the way to the purely functional code which is maintainable, testable and performant. I was impressed how Paweł is able to present in such an entertaining way while at the same time keeping it simple and understandable.

All in all, it was an exciting and inspiring conference with a ton of awesome speakers and talks. If I ever get the opportunity to visit the Lambda World conference again I definitely will, I can recommend this conference for everybody who is interested in FP style programming. And of course not to forget to mention the closing party at the awesome location of Cadiz castle with burgers, beer and music.   

Once again thank you Signify for giving me this experience.'


This review was written exclusively for Signify Technology by Christian Wilhelm.