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'First time when I could join Scala's amazing community' A review of Scale by the Bay by Iaroslav Zeigerman

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One of the most positive things to come out of conferences is feeling part of an awe-inspiring community. There are so many incredible people to meet and learn from and this was a major highlight for our competition winner, Senior Software Engineer, Iaroslav Zeigerman. Although Iaroslav has been using Scala for 4 years, Scale by the Bay was his first chance to attend a conference so we are honoured to have been able to give him this opportunity! 

Check out Iaroslav's takeaway below.

This year I was fortunate enough to attend Scale By the Bay in San Francisco. My gratitude goes to Signify Technology for presenting me with this opportunity. I've been using Scala for 4 years but this was the first time when I could join Scala's amazing community outside of GitHub and Twitter.

I met a lot of genuinely smart people and attended a lot of interesting sessions. It's really hard for me to come up with a list of topics that I enjoyed the most. There were, however, several talks that appealed to me specifically.

One of them was "Scalaz Stream: Rebirth" by John A. De Goes and Itamar Ravid. These guys have done an excellent job resurrecting the Scalaz Stream library, making it so much faster than existing analogues, while preserving the ease of use and, of course, referential transparency.

There were some great talks from Typelevel's community too. Michael Pilquist in his "Concurrency with Cats-effect" made a great overview of the Cats-effect design and capabilities. He explained the complexity and pitfalls of a purely functional approach to concurrency and described how those have been overcome in Cats.

One session that I was really looking forward to was "Applied Machine Learning: a Netflix production" by Julie Pitt. It didn't disappoint. Julie presented a framework she and her team came up with at Netflix that significantly simplifies a process of building ML models in distributed environment and, more importantly, a process of delivering those models to production. Turned out that I've been working on a similar problem, so it was great to chat with Julie in person after her talk.

Last but not least - "FP Scala Meat and Potatoes" by Paul Snively who shown a complete WEB application (with API and DB), built using only purely functional tools and concepts. It was really exciting to see how type system and compiler got my back even in something as common as a CRUD application. In his talk, Paul also proved that there is nothing FP can't do.

These were exciting and very insightful three days. It was nice to see the direction in which the community is moving and take a glance at what awaits it in the future (eg Scala 3 details). Thanks once again to Signify Technology and I hope I get a chance to attend Scale By the Bay next year.