Saturday, 19 July 2014

Successfully completed Functional Programming Principles in Scala

I earned 97.7% with distinction.


One can tell that the subject matter was Academic, with a firm grounding in Mathematics, which appealed to me.

The assignments provided a lot of information on what is expected, so there are no surprises, but you do need to read carefully.

The one assigment that provided the most difficulty was assignment 6, regarding the discovery of Anagrams of a sentence.

I had to wrestle a bit with the Scala syntax. It's new for me.

I especially found foldLeft and foldRight counter-intuitive sometimes.

I learned a lot on the following topics, in no specific ordering.
Scala Programming Language
by the creator, Martin Odersky, himself.
Functional Programming
one of the main subjects of the course
Domain Specific Language
Scala provides several ways to program according to a domain model2, instead of a technical/software model
Mathematics - Set Theory
the code is very close to the mathematical theory. Purposefully crafted that way, of course. It means we can actually use mathematical operators (some of the time).
Behaviour Driven Development
you can write tests that read more naturally
Test Driven Development
assignments had to pass certain tests (that are unknown), so your own tests had better be complete/sufficient
we used a lot of recursion, you do not see that in "normal" programming languages.
It was a huge amount of fun to do, both to learn a new Programming Language1 and to learn a new Programming Paradigm.


[1] Coursera - Functional Programming Principles in Scala, by Martin Odersky
[2] Wikipedia - Domain Model

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