Twin Cities Software Symposium

March 4 - 6, 2016

Pattern Matching Makes You Powerful! (In All Languages!)

Sunday - Mar 6 2:15 PM - SALON A

Danny Brian

Danny Brian

Designer, Developer, Mentor

Regular Expressions are an undervalued, underutilized tool in the developer toolbox. Few programming technologies have stood a comparable test of time for their capacity to improve developer productivity, to shortcut complex tasks, to reduce dependency on various libraries, and to encourage code reuse. They also help to teach patterns and improve pattern recognition, not only for code, but for programmers themselves. Competency with regexes will make you a better programmer, regardless of your choice of language or platforms. And it will impress your peers, too!

This workshop will teach you the fundamentals of writing, debugging, and testing PCREs (Perl-compatible Regular Expressions) in multiple programming languages. With hands-on examples we will cover regex syntax, metacharacters, assertions, grouping, quantifiers, greed, capturing, balanced matches, and replacing. We'll compose regexes from scratch to parse some common string formats such as URLs, email addresses, and even JSON. Given enough time, we'll even learn look-around assertions, and examine some creating uses of regexes in the field of natural language processing.

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About Danny Brian

Danny Brian got his programming start as a backend developer, wrangling Perl to do all sorts of things for which it was never intended. He wrote some books on software development and document-oriented databases. Eventually he found his true calling: Front-end development. In this “new career” Danny has worked as a designer, Flash developer, and application architect. Today Danny's projects include mobile game development with both HTML5 and the Unity platform. His goal? “To build stuff that people actually like, that stick around for more than a few years, and to help others do the same.”