Oskar Wickström Lambda World Interview

Oskar Wickström will be speaking at Lambda World in September 2016. He is the creator of a functional language called Oden, which he'll be talking about at the conference.

Follow him on Twitter and GitHub, and visit his homepage.

PurelyFunctional.tv: How did you get into functional programming?

Oskar Wickström: My first encounter with functional programming was Scala, but it was a short story. I picked up Haskell in my free time, starting with building simple LISP interpreters and other hacks. Then I started applying the lessons learned in Haskell at work, in languages like Javascript and Java 8. Right now I have the privilege of writing in a functional programming language (Clojure) at work.

PF.tv: Very briefly, what is your talk about?

OW: It's an introduction to Oden, an experimental functional programming language for the Go ecosystem. I will cover the background and motivation of the project, the current state of the implementation, and possible ways forward.

PF.tv: What do you hope people will take away from the talk?

OW: An overview of the Oden language project, and hopefully some new ideas around building languages on top of Go, and what interoperating with Go can look like.

PF.tv: What concepts do you recommend people be familiar with to maximize their experience with the talk?

OW: A familiarity with functional programming in general, and a brief introduction to the Go programming language and its design choices.

PF.tv: What resources are available for people who want to study up before the talk?

OW: The Oden website is the best starting point. The source code is hosted on GitHub.

PF.tv: Where can people follow you online?

OW: My Twitter account, and my blog "FUNC DA WORLD" where I write about my adventures in programming.

PF.tv: Are there any projects you'd like people to be aware of? How can people help out?

OW: Besides Oden, I put most of my free-time focus on blogging. I work for a startup called Empear, where we build tools for analyzing software projects, with both technical and organizational perspectives, rooted in the ideas from the book Your Code as a Crime Scene by Adam Tornhill. We are currently working on a cloud version of our tool suite, Codescene, and people can sign up for the coming preview.

PF.tv: Where do you see the state of functional programming in 10 years?

OW: I think functional programming has successfully worked its way into many mainstream programming languages, even if not a first-class citizen everywhere. I think that trend will continue, and also that aspiring new languages will win more ground and become stable mainstream languages. I hope schools and universities will teach more functional programming, starting at introductory courses. I'm also interested in seeing how we can evolve our existing systems gradually towards safer, simpler, and more maintainable code, using the power of functional programming.

PF.tv: If functional programming were a superhero, what superpower would it have?

OW: Foresight.