Lambda World Conference 2017

Raquel M Carmena · 30 Oct 2017

Thanks Codurance for giving me the opportunity of attending Lambda World Conference 2017 last 26th and 27th October in Cádiz (Spain), a Functional Programming event consisting of two intense days:

  • A half-day of open space
  • A half-day of workshops
  • A full day of talks

Rúnar Bjarnason, one of the authors of the Scala red book, improvised a crash course about Category Theory during the open space and it was very absorbing how he identified objects and arrows in every category.

My favourite workshop was Don't fear the Optics, facilitated by Jesús López-González, in which he matched:

  • Ugly code with aliens
  • Techniques to refactor with weapons

It's was a funny and didactic workshop, breaking the walls of concepts like Lens, Prism and Traversal (not so complex after the workshop ;)).

I attended another interesting workshop about Common Lisp by Andrew Lawson. I still remember how much I enjoyed programming in Lisp at the University, but I did not know about different implementations of Lisp, nor about the existence of Lisp machines.

I'm in this profession because of Maths, so I had fun with the talk about Maths for Programming, Fun and Creativity by Dave Gurnell and Noel Welsh.

Hadi Hariri gave an engaging talk covering Kotlin 102. And I could see how Raul Raja, Paco Estévez and Simon Vergauwen have brought the best of typed functional programming to Kotlin with their library Kategory.

My favourite speaker at the event was Zainab Ali. She talked about recursion schemes in the best pedagogical way, based on the paper Functional Programming with Bananas, Lenses, Envelopes and Barbed Wire. She showed how recursion schemes make recursion generic, removing much of the boilerplate associated with it.

Hylomorphism Slide from 'Peeling the Banana - Recursion schemes from first principles' by Zainab Ali

Jeremy Gibbons, professor of Computing at the University of Oxford, was the star of the final keynote, showing the relation between the structure of multi-dimensional data and Naperian functors.

Do you know another technical conference which provides its own beer, functional beer?

Functional Beer

Organizers deserve my warmest congratulations, because it was one of the best conferences I've ever attended. It was the third edition of this awesome event and, despite the high number of attendees, it kept its high quality, the personal attention and its family atmosphere. Jorge Galindo is one of the organizers and his daughter is growing at the same time as the event, getting used to face a huge audience:

Jorge Galindo

Here you'll find the videos about talks.


My special thanks go to my colleagues Christian Panadero and Carlos Morera de la Chica, here with Bartosz Milewski, the author of Category Theory for Programmers:

They're awesome travel companions in this journey and I met a lot of interesting people thanks to them.

Raquel M Carmena Image

Raquel M Carmena

Raquel discovered her profession when she was 12 years old, when playing with databases and DOS commands in the back office of a computer shop. She keeps as a treasure her notebook with a computer architecture and how data were stored in a diskette among other things.

She loves new challenges and finds it very difficult to choose a single favourite area in her profession. For the past 10 years Raquel has worked in different projects, with different technologies, and in different industries. She lives and breathes business and values from her software products, services and ideas.

Raquel is a constant apprentice who strives for common sense, pragmatism and simplicity, and also enjoys sharing her knowledge and learning from others.

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