Scala Labs at the J-Fall conference was the first in a series of public events in which we want to show the power and fun of Scala to a broad audience of developers. Before I tell you about our experience at the JFall, I would like to explain how Scala Labs got started. This relatively new upcoming language on the Java Virtual Machine has been drawing more and more attention and many of our developers have started playing with over the last couple of months. In August some of us decided to organize an internal technology day, so all of our developers could get a better understanding of this new language and discover its merits. Because everyone was very enthousiastic about the entire day we figured that it would be a nice to organize something similar outside of Xebia as well. The exercises from that day became the basis of the Scala Labs exercises that we used at the JFall.
So back to the JFall. We were set up in the basement, so it was nicely isolated from other crowed and noisy places and there was more than enough space. We had a big table on which we installed ten laptops for doing the exercises. And all around the basement several interesting poster presentations were set up. That was around eight, around half past ten, after the keynote, all laptops were occupied by developers. It stayed that way until around five, when the drinks started. We even had to bring in some extra tables so everybody could participate. All of us were really pleasantly surprised by the curiousity and enthusiasm towards Scala that we saw at the JFall. Some random remarks we heard during the day: “The Scala Labs hands-on were the reason for me to come to the J-Fall this year” “Impressive that you can accomplish so much with so little code” “I see some room for improvement in the exercises, can I help?” To answer the last question: Yes, you can. You can also use these exercises to play with/learn Scala your self, or use them to organize a labs for your colleagues (we would not mind helping you of course). Simply go to the website (www.scala-labs.org) and just fork the repository! If you couldn't make it to the JFall and would like a personal introduction to Scala, there will be several Scala Hands-on Labs thoughout the Netherlands on 1, 2 and 3 december (www.xebia.com/scalalabs).