I arrived at Kalahari, in Sandusky, OH Weds night (Jan 9th) for CodeMash 2008. I was pretty amazed to see all the attendees for the pre-conference that went from 7-9. We’ve got quite a crowd this year- close to 350 from what I’ve heard.
This morning kicked off with Neal Ford- entitled “Software Engineering & Polyglot Programming”. Neal did a great job and there seemed to be a lot of energy in the crowd. My interest was piqued when mentioned multi-processor programming, and how functional languages (such as F#) will really help developers avoid some of the difficulties of traditional OO languages. The majority of the time he spent talking about Java, but there were a lot of parallels for the C# crowd.
Another highlight in the talk was the push for moving to new functional languages. Something that has always bothered me about functional languages (ruby, groovy, etc) is that there isn’t just a whole lot of enterprise rollout right now. Nealspecifically addressed this and compared it to building bridges at the turn of the century. Many nay-sayers genereated a lot of FUD about reinforced concrete bridges- but today that is how bridges are built. The best way to introduce new technology and combat the nay-sayers, similar to bridge building, is to test and show. The math may not prove it out, but the testing will- and testing is a key component to building any kind of software. Kudos to Neal for presenting this thought process. I think it was a great way to kick of CodeMash- there are a variety of “new” dynamic and functional programming languages that will be presented. I’m looking forward to digging in to a few of them after the conference.