Functional Light JavaScript workshop

Functionite company did an impressive job bringing JavaScript expert Kyle Simpson to their hometown Warsaw, Poland in September last year. He lead You Don’t Know JS Workshops, 5 days of JavaScript classes focused on learning new skills and the best practices. I joined on the last day to attend an excellent workshop titled Functional-Light JavaScript. In this post I wanted to share slides and my coding exercises from this course. If you are curious what topics related to functional programming were covered I strongly recommend checking notes from a similar workshop shared by Beth Allchurch.

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A journey to functional JavaScript: Part 1 – fundamentals

JavaScript has a quite fascinating history. Brendan Eich created on his own the first language prototype in just ten days. Its implementation was highly influenced by the concepts of first-class functions from Scheme and prototypes from Self. Initially it was developed under the name Mocha, but released as LiveScript. The latter name didn’t last long either. Java was so hot back in 1995, that Netscape decided to take marketing move and rename their new language to JavaScript. This decision has greatly influenced the way JavaScript has been perceived for many years. Outward similarities to Java promoted imperative, object-oriented style among developers using it. Ideas borrowed from Scheme have always enabled using functional programming styles as well. However it was never the case until it started to get momentum a few month ago.

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Exploring functional JavaScript

I started exploring functional programming (FP) concepts over a year ago. I have already shared my initial learning materials in one of the previous posts. It was only the beginning of my journey and today I would like to give you a much more detailed update on that topic. I picked the most interesting resources I discovered in the recent months. They helped me understand how functional programming can improve the developer’s experience when you work with JavaScript.

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Learning functional programming

Lately I wanted to explore more in-depth functional programming concepts. When I was looking for resources I found an interesting bundle (with 60% discount) from O’Reilly:

It turned out they are really nice because they present code examples from the different programming languages like: Java, Scala or Closure. That approach gives you a bigger picture how functional programming can be applied. I’d say that the book contains almost everything you can see in the related video. In addition, it’s more up to date and it contains a bit more details. On the other hand the video is much more interactive.

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