While It’s Compiling is a series of interviews with experts across a range of bleeding-edge technologies and practices, exclusive to Skills Matter. Be sure to subscribe to this blog for future interviews, or follow us on Twitter.
Find out who we’ll be interviewing next and get a chance to put your questions forward with our hashtag #whileitscompiling.
This week on While It’s Compiling, we talked to Bodil Stokke; a frequent conference speaker in the fields of Functional Programming and internet technologies, and co-organiser of three annual developer conferences in her home town of Oslo. We caught up with her to discuss what she’s been up to in the Functional world.
1. What attracted you to functional languages in the first place?
It was a gradual process. Python used to be my main language back in the 90s, and coming from things like C++ I approached it mostly through its OO capabilities. I’d been aware from the start of Python’s Functions being first class, but it took me a while to realise the implications of this. A few years in, I was so attached to the idea of first class functions that I couldn’t do without them.
2. What are you working on?
3. Do you work in only FP languages, or does the project you are working on have some FP code and some OO/Procedure code? If so, how does that fit together?
4. What is one piece of advice you can give to new programmers?
Two things stand out. First, read the paper “Out of the Tar Pit” by Moseley & Marks, or all your code will be awful and you won’t know why. Second, always ask yourself, “would Dijkstra have liked this?”
5. You’ve recently moved to London – have you experienced much of the FP community in the UK capital yet?
One of the reasons I moved here in the first place was the amazing Clojure community. The Haskell community is even more amazing—not so much because they’re great people (too early to tell, though I’m sure they must be) but because where else in the world do you regularly get almost 100 people attending a Haskell meetup?
6. What would you like to ask the community?
When will there be a London Idris Meetup?
Are you up to organizing a London Idris Meetup? Tweet us at #whileitscompiling or @skillsmatter
Bodil will be giving a talk on how to Build Your Own LISP for Great Justice at the Functional Programming eXchange 2014.