Skip to main content

Course completed

As I wrote in previous posts I've been attending a course Functional Programming Principles in Scala on coursera. I've completed the course and will write my final thoughts of the course this time.

First weeks

The first three weeks was like a  boot camp to drop out everyone who's not fully commited to the course. I've written about the first weeks in a previous post so I'm not going to repeat myself.

Weeks four and five

Weeks four and five were a positive surprise in two different ways. First of all the subjects were much more interesting and practical than in previous weeks. The second nice surprise was that the homework for the two weeks was combined.

Week four was about pattern matching which is a essential part of Scala and I found it to be a very interesting concept, easy to understand and it can simplify the code.

Week five was about lists. Nothing shocking during the week as lists are similar to lists in Java but in Scala lists do have some operations that come from the world of functional programming that Java doesn't have. This week also introduced a new concept called tuples which is something I'd love to have also in other programming languages.

The last two weeks

Week six was about collections other than lists including maps, ranges, sets and vectors. This week also introduced Scala's for queries which can be very different looking than in OOP. The collections are very similar to ones in Java so nothing new there but interesting new operations to transform between maps and other collections.

Week seven the last week introduced streams and lazy evaluation where in both the value is evaluated when it's needed. Lazy evaluation can be applied to any type of value or function so it's not evaluated until it's needed. Streams are similar to lists where the first element has a value and the rest of the elements aren't evaluated until needed.

Final thoughts

First weeks was a real pain like a boot camp to drop off the students who aren't motivated enough. The middle of the course consisted on familiar concepts from OOP and introduced some functional properties of them. The end of the course put all the learned concepts in use and introduced some functional concepts that are not found in OOP.

In the end I did learn some Scala but even more I learned about functional programming and what it means compared to OOP. This course gave me more than I could ever learn by reading from books or by practicing by myself.

Now that I've completed the course I'm taking a break from studying and after a few weeks of taking it easy I'll be trying out my new skill set with Scala to get some more practice. 

Popular posts from this blog

Sharing to help myself

It's been a while since my last post but I have a good excuse. I've been in a new customer project (well new for me) for two months now and have absorbed a lot of new information on the technology stack and the project itself. This time I'll be sharing a short post about sharing code and how it can help the one who's sharing the code. I'll be giving a real life example of how it happened to me. My story Back when I was implementing first version of my simple-todo REST-service I used Scala and Play framework for the service and specs2 for testing the implementation. Since then I've done a few other implementations of the service but I've continued to use specs2 as a testing framework. I wrote about my implementation and shared the post through various services and as a result someone forked my work and gave me some pointers on how I could improve my tests. That someone was Eric Torreborre  the man behind specs2 framework. I didn't take his ref

Simple code: Immutability

Immutability is a special thing that in my mind deserves a short explanation and praise. If you're familiar with functional programming you surely recognice the concept of immutability because it's a key ingredient of the paradigm. In the world of object oriented programming it's not as used and as easy to use approach but there are ways to incorporate immutability to parts of the code and I strongly suggest you to do so. Quick intro to immutablity The basic idea of immutability is unchangeable data.  Lets take a example. We have a need to modify a object's property but because the object is immutable we can't just change value but instead we make a copy of the object and while making the copy we provide the new value for the copy. In code it looks something like this. val pencil = Product(name = "Pencil", category = "Office supply") val blackMarker = pencil.copy(name = "Black marker") The same idea can be applied in functions and metho

DIY home automation, new generation

I've had my DIY home automation system for controlling outlets and reading sensor data running for about two years now. The system has been working fine and I haven't had any need to touch the code since I added the sensor reading to it, until a few months back. Need for new functionality Few months ago I got a new IoT toy for a lend from a friend until I'd get my own toys, a ruuvitag sensor beacon. Ever since I found the ruuvitag for the first time from kickstarter I had the idea of getting a bunch of ruuvitags and adding their weather station sensor readings as part of my home automation system. The original home automation backend included only tellstick compatible devices and was written in Python, and in my mind it was kind of a hack. The ruuvitag beacons communicate via BLE i.e. Bluetooth Low Energy and that meant that I needed to add functionality to read the beacon data via bluetooth. I found a ruuvitag Python library and initially thought that I'd just