Talk in English - US at Dutch PHP Conference 2017
View Slides: https://speakerdeck.com/scato/functional-programming-for-dummies
Short URL: https://joind.in/talk/5d117 (QR-Code (opens in new window))
What is functional programming? Pure functions, of course, but don't forget immutability, referential transparency, pointfree programming and tail recursion.
*) people without a degree in Computer Science
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I'm not sure what this talk was about but it was not appropriate for this conference.
I was expecting a talk about what functional programming is with some good examples. Instead I ended up leaving with more questions than I went in with.
First of all i don't think this talk was for dummies lets make that clear. I think it missed context / subject which made it very difficult to understand the concept of functional programming which already is a difficult topic. Other point is that there were used a lot of definitions and theory but those didn't really matched the talk.
Also changing to different programming languages was not a good move to do.
To be very honest i didn't learned much from this talk.
I feel this talk had great potential, but was maybe not targeted at the right audience.
The content was good, the speaker was decent, but this was in no way, shape or form a "for Dummies" talk. To try and explain functional programming concepts is a great subject, but doing so using Haskell on a PHP conference is a bit daring. Especially if no context is provided about Haskell nor its syntax. Luckily for me, I am somewhat familiar with Haskell so I enjoyed the explanation quite well, but by the faces of the rest of the audience, many did not share my familiarity and they got lost a few slides in.
"That escalated quickly" - if I had to sum it up.
I think Scato should have explained the syntax of Haskell or should have used a language which is better known. But don't just assume that people will understand it. It's very strange to sit in talk not being able to follow what's happening.
However, I think that he understands the topic very well, and should try to improve his talk. I would go to his talk again, if he would work on it.
This talk was missing the "why" very much. It explained a lot of things about functional programming, but in a theoretical way and without context, due to which most of it was lost on me. This talk probably would have worked as a lecture during a course in university, but as a single 45m presentation during a conference, it didn't really work.
Personally I liked how the presentation started of but it was very hard to keep the attention once the switch was made to JS and Haskell. I feel like the audience actually did need a degree in computer science to follow along the presentation. It was the clear the speaker has good knowledge about the subject but the "for Dummies" could have been left out of the title especially since the "why" remained unanswered for me.
I was really looking forward to the subject and talk, if the examples would have been provided in PHP I believe it would have been a lot easier for me and the public to follow along. A new syntax combined with new information is hard to grasp at the same time.
The idea is good, but there are several considerations to take into account.
Changing to Haskell without explaining how a simple function looks, is not the way to go when probably it is the first contact the audience has with it.
Maybe focus on fewer topics and have more examples and/or explain them in a "real life" example.
For instance, you mention the Maybe object, if I hadn't been in the "M-M-Monads" talk I would have no idea what is that about.
Another thing that bothered me personally was some choice of words, like "I think", "apparently", this kind of seemed that you were unsure or confused about it, even if this isn't the case (wich I believe), it kind of demotivated me.
Thanks for your feedback. I'm sorry about the title for this talk. It should have been called: An impractical introduction to Haskell for experienced PHP developers. The "Dummies" was meant ironically, which somehow got across when I gave the talk at a meetup. But that's on me, not on you.
If you take away one thing from my talk, I hope it is that Functional Programming is more than anonymous functions.
If you want to read up on Category Theory, see: https://bartoszmilewski.com/2014/10/28/category-theory-for-programmers-the-preface/