My Experience at Functional Conf 2017

Recently I had the chance of attending Functional Conf organized by ConfEngine which was held at Bangalore.This was a conference dedicated to buzz words such as scalability,benchmarking and most ardently immutability.

Day 1 got kicked-off at sharp 9 in the morning.I reached a bit late though, considering Bangalore traffic :)

My first session of the day was ‘All Chat Applications using Elixir’.Questions such as deployment of Elixir using Docker,scalability of the app,load balancing,etc were answered in this session.

Next session was on umbrella apps.This session was focused on building an umbrella app using Elixir and Phoenix.Architecture of umbrella apps and concepts of Microservices together with functional programming were covered in this session.

There was also a semi-hands-on session in which a distributed painting canvas was built from scratch using Elixir and Phoenix.’Ecto’ was used for data access,’Brunch’ as a build tool and ‘Mix’ for dependencies.

Post lunch witnessed a very interesting and joyful session titled -’Elixir by the bellyful’.I particularly liked this session, mainly because of the enthusiasm of the speaker.We could clearly see that Elixir made the speaker happy,very happy.This talk was more of a journey-how Erlang came into picture and how its love child ‘Elixir’ was conceived.The entire Erlang-Elixir ecosystem was covered in this talk.

There were some demonstrations on benchmarking and concurrent event processing using functional languages.

Day 2 sessions again began at 9,but this time I reached early.It mainly comprised of live demos and importance of mainstreaming Functional Programming.

I never thought that Functional programming could be used in aviation,but a very cool demo instantly changed that thought.This was a demo in which Haskell was used to capture all the on-air flight details such as flight number,altitude etc.The demo seemed too good to be true until I verified the results myself.

There was another talk on Service Discovery using CRDTs.This time it was Scala to the rescue.In simple words,the task is to build a Thirty Meter Telescope’s software platform.And of course we need something functional as the main ingredient.Here,CRDTs in Akka were used to build the service registration and discovery mechanism for TMT’s (Thirty Meter Telescope) software platform. TMT would be world’s largest optical telescope once operational.

These were the main highlights and a quick tour of the conference.

I felt the conference was a bit biased towards Erlang and Elixir,something similar to how parents feel towards their first born.Nevertheless, this was a very noble step of getting all functional programmers together, to build a more diverse tech platform, as well as robust softwares.

Ujjavala works with ThoughtWorks as a Senior Application Developer with 7 years of experience in building intelligent systems and designing tech strategies.

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