ScalaDays San Francisco 2015 Recap

Sunset over the Golden Gate bridge

Sunset over the Golden Gate bridge

Last March, I attended ScalaDays in San Francisco. It was a fantastic experience!

I came away with a much better understanding of the Scala ecosystem, and was really impressed with the caliber of speakers at the event. I volunteered as a staff member, which is something I would recommend to others.

In fact, I should put in a plug for this- last year at OracleWorld I volunteered to teach kids to program with Devoxx4kids. I would highly, highly recommend it to anyone even remotely interested. It was an incredibly rewarding experience, and I got to meet awesome people.

This volunteer event was a bit different- I didn't get to hang out with kids interested in programming, for one, and I had to do manual labor. But I still got to meet awesome people, so it was worth it. If you're going to a conference, it's good to meet people. If you just go there, absorb the lectures, drink beer and hang out with your coworkers, I think you are missing out. So next time, volunteer, and you'll have a better time.

Ok, with that aside, here are some thoughts a month or so after the event.

The Future is Tasty

Martin Odersky introduced Tasty files to me during the keynote at Scaladays. I had never heard of them before, and they are still somewhat of a mystery to me. I'm dying to work with them. It is such a cool idea, I just have not had the time yet to see what is available now and figure out how it will work.

The gist is that Tasty files will solve binary compatability issues going forward for Scala, and at the same time will also allow the compiler to convert Scala to both class files and Javascript. To paraphrase something I attribute to Odersky but can not longer seem to find on the internet, Scala is no longer be a single platform language. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.


If you are a developer and do not live under a rock then you have probably heard of Apache Spark. Reynold Xin gave a really nice recap of the effort required to take a vanilla Spark instance turn it into a Sort Benchmark winner.

What you may not know is that Spark was initially developed with Akka. I'm not sure if it still uses Akka or not.


I attended the Shapeless talk and came away feeling a bit shapeless about the whole thing, actually. But after reading a little bit about it, it's easy to see why the talk was so well attended. The generic programming library is definitely worth looking at further.


My one regret was not attending a ScalaJS talk, it was brought up repeatedly in the key note, and it's definitely worth looking at further. ScalaJS has support for use with ReactJS and Angular,

Here are the complete list of talks from the conference if you're interested in checking them out.

One last bit- I attended Advanced Akka Training after the conference. It was put on by BoldRadius. One of the instructors, Michael Nash, also spoke at the conference. The training was excellent.