Mavnn's blog

Stuff from my brain

Functional Programming in the Wild

Last week was the annual Progressive .Net conference, hosted at SkillsMatter.

It was a bit of a strange conference for me; I was invited to speak, and very much enjoyed meeting up with everyone but I also had a bunch of other work I needed to get done. That means that unlike some other conferences I won't be able to give much speaker feedback!

However, there were a few sessions I managed to pay some attention to and some thoughts about my own that I'd like to record - so here goes!

Pilot Decision Making for Beginners

Clifford Agnius is an airline pilot and .net developer who gave a really nice talk on how to make decisions - whether you need to make them right now (hint: practice in advance) or whether you need to decide on a plan.

It was tempting to just nod along and go "oh, that's just common sense" - until it strikes you that codified, pre-agreed common sense is pretty spectacularly valuable.

Have I got .NET for You

"Have I got .NET for You" was fun, and Dylan Beattie is a very silly boy.

A Practical Introduction to Functional Programming with F#

This was me; no video I'm afraid, as it was a 3 hour practical session.

I was really pleased by the turn out for this - I'm guessing there were 30-40 people there (anyone who actually counted, feel free to correct me!).

View of the room filling up

I had to make a rather quick swerve in the presentation of the topic right at the beginning, as I had been expecting a group most of whom had tried F# and wanted to learn more about functional programming - while I actually got a group where only 3 people had even looked at F# who wanted to learn about functional programming!

After walking people through the first couple of exercises to get the basic syntax down, people seemed to be off and flying (SkillsMatter has a good coffee supply):

Mind being blown is a good thing, right?

All in all, much fun was had by all (I think).

The Web that Never Was

Dylan's final key note was a alternative history of the web, a combination of (real) good ideas that were dropped due to the vagaries of history and application of 20-20 hindsight.

Apart from being entertaining, it was also thought provoking for anyone designing software today.

Also: Dylan is still a very silly boy.

At time of writing the recording of this hadn't been published, but I suspect it will appear shortly.


All in all, I very much enjoyed ProgNet and I'm hoping to be involved again next year - apart from the sessions there was also plentiful coffee, chats, and opportunities to catch up with interesting people.