Gauging interest for Ann Arbor Scala Enthusiasts

Scala is a general purpose language on the Java Virtual Machine. Combining functional and object oriented programming, Scala offers powerful expression that allows developers to focus on solving problems with software rather than being distracted by boilerplate code. Particularly with recent announcements that features expected in Java in 2013 are being pushed back, languages such as Scala are attractive alternatives.

I’ve been playing around with Scala for several years, have been deeply involved with the Scala Koans open source project, and am nearing completion on a introductory book on Scala, co-authored with Bruce Eckel. And while I see a lot of enthusiasm for Scala throughout the country, I would love to see more enthusiasm in Michigan and the Midwest. ┬áThat’s my motivation for starting the Ann Arbor Scala Enthusiasts group.

I’m thinking about the 3rd Wednesday of each month, starting August 15, at 6 pm. I would hold the meetings in our meeting space, at SRT Solutions, 206 S. Fifth Ave., Suite 200, Ann Arbor, MI. That’s at the corner of Fifth and Washington, in downtown Ann Arbor. The closest parking structures are at 4th and Washington, and 5th and Liberty (the new, underground library lot).

I would strive for a mix of local and national speakers on a variety of Scala topics, possibly including the following:

  • Why Scala?
  • Scala for Java Developers
  • Play Web Framework
  • Scala as a First Language
  • Developer Tools for Scala
and I would look to the community for additional suggestions and speakers. If the group is small, we could do some hands-on learning and experimenting with Scala.

So — is there interest? Once I know the answer to that question, I will start dealing with the practical concerns, like funding (starving developers arriving at a meeting just after work is never a pretty sight). If there’s any interest at all, I think that I will schedule the August 15 meeting to continue this discussion and for an open discussion on “Why Scala”. ┬áSummer attendance is typically fairly light, but I would love to get this group kicked off as soon as possible.

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