At last night’s Windsor-Essex .NET Developers Group, we had Reid Evans presenting a talk on Getting Started with Functional Programming in F#. I absolutely loved this talk and wanted to share it along with some of my thoughts and takeaways. I’ve been over the last year or two going back and forth with learning F# and understanding more functional programming concepts. So I was really looking forward to this talk. If you have any questions, please follow me on Twitter.
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VideoThis is the live stream we had to our user group. If you are interested in functional programming and F#, I highly recommend giving this a watch.
TakeawaysI thought Reid’s intended takeaways were all met. I came out of that talk with exactly what he intended. As a speaker, I think this is the ultimate goal. What you are trying to convey is achieved. That’s not to say people can find other takeaways, but knowing what you are trying to present and is received is great.
Defaults matter & No more null!I think the hardest idea to fully “get” is how defaults matter. I think this is really expressed when you see the difference of not being able to have null. The alternative of using the Option Type (a Union Type) as an alternative way of thinking about the problem of something not existing. In Reid’s example, a record not existing in the database. What I love about is how you handle the resulting Option Type with pattern matching. What I take from this is forcing the caller to property handle either
None. I think Reid said it really well that if your language allows null, you must check for null everywhere. If it does not allow null, and uses something like an Option type, then that is very explicit.