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Best Scala resource?

 
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I'm well past the age where I'll take the time to learn a new language "just because it's cool". So I've been waiting for a good reason to look at Scala before I dive into the pool.

Lift may be that reason.

So, author Timothy Perrett, what would you consider the best resource for a seasoned developer who's used dozens of languages in his career, but has been focusing on Java and JavaScript in recent years?

Others can chime in with their choices as well, but I'm really interested in hearing Timothy's choices.

 
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Bear Bibeault wrote:I'm well past the age where I'll take the time to learn a new language "just because it's cool". So I've been waiting for a good reason to look at Scala before I dive into the pool.

Lift may be that reason.

So, author Timothy Perrett, what would you consider the best resource for a seasoned developer who's used dozens of languages in his career, but has been focusing on Java and JavaScript in recent years?

Others can chime in with their choices as well, but I'm really interested in hearing Timothy's choices.



More broadly, i'd suggest two books:

1) Programming in Scala: this is essentially the canonical book for learning Scala, written by Odersky himself. It's surprisingly accessible and serves as a good reference for any budding scala dev - http://www.amazon.com/Programming-Scala-Comprehensive-Step-Step/dp/0981531644

2) Scala in Depth: PinS will only get you so far, and after a few months of programming you might want to step up to the more advanced things that are possible with Scala... many of which come from pure functional programming and category theory. Josh's book is a great resource for learning those features and will be available in print version soon - http://www.manning.com/suereth/

Scala is very much a multi-paradigm language. You could pick it up today with just Java experience and program with it like it was Java without semi-colons. Likewise, people from Haskell can also pick it up and do some very advanced type-level programming. There's no point learning Scala "because its cool"... the real reason to learn it is because its a powerful language that will give you easy entry into the awesome that is functional programming. Many people find haskell to be overwhelming, so being able to program imperatively and take functional features like HOFs and type classes where you want them is really rather convenient.

Hope that helps
 
Bear Bibeault
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That helps a lot.

Because of my experience with JavaScript, I've really come to love aspects of functional programming and find that I'm missing them terribly when I'm writing in the Java layer.

Both books are now on my Amazon wish list.
 
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