Demystifying Functional Programming: Jargon and Patterns

With languages like F#, Clojure, and Scala increasingly taking up mindshare, many developers feel pressure to jump into functional programming. The jargon of functional programming can prove a huge barrier, though, and it really shouldn't. This session will explain what the functional programmers mean when they say things like “closure”, “monad”, “monoid”, and “combinator”, and show that they are actually ideas with Java analogs that are more familiar than their names may imply.

Functional programming has been the domain of academics for a long time, but the paradigm is increasingly being considered by business-line developers. Some people even tout it as the movement of the future. Unfortunately, the jargon of functional programming have been defined by academics, which makes breaking into the language tricky. As a student of pure mathematics, a Java programmer, and a functional programming consultant, Robert will translate these ideas between paradigms.


About Robert Fischer

Robert Fischer

Robert Fischer is a multi-language open source developer currently specializing in Groovy in Grails. In the past, his specialties have been in Perl, Java, Ruby, and OCaml. In the future, his specialty will probably be F# or (preferably) a functional JVM language like Scala or Clojure.

Robert is the author of Grails Persistence in GORM and GSQL, a regular contributor to GroovyMag and JSMag, the founder of the JConch Java concurrency library, and the author/maintainer of Liquibase-DSL and the Autobase database migration plugin for Grails.

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