Scala Days: 9 Speakers Choose Their Must Attend Sessions

 ● 08th Jun 2015

7 min read

What are some of the most interesting sessions coming up in Scala Days Amsterdam?

Woah! Scala Days is sold out and we hope you had a chance to be one of the lucky ones with a ticket. This time around the conference takes place in Amsterdam and features 55 (!) different talks in 3 action packed days with 4 parallel tracks. To decide which sessions to attend, we turned to 9 of the speakers and asked: “If you could attend only one session, which session would it be?”. Well, apart from their own of course. And apart from the keynote. And the lunch breaks. And the drinks… Some didn’t follow the rules! But we let a few of those glitches slip.

Now, let’s take a look at the speaker’s choice:
(or… TL;DR: Just take me to your final list)

1. Joe Kutner, JVM Platform Owner @ Heroku

What: Type-safe off-heap memory for Scala
Who: Denys Shabalin
When: Tuesday at 10:25am
Why: “A common problem I see when debugging Scala apps on Heroku is the leaking of off-heap memory. Many frameworks allocate native memory to improve performance, which can get an app into trouble. I’m hoping this talk will shed some light on how such a tricky practice can be managed well.”

2. Dean Wampler, Big Data Architect @ Typesafe

What: From Source: Scala at Twitter
Who: Stu Hood
When: Tuesday at 13:30pm
Why: “The first big user of Scala and still one of the biggest.”
What: Large volume data analysis on the Typesafe Reactive Platform
Who: Martin Zaplatel
When: Tuesday at 16:50pm
Why: “Martin Zapletal’s talk on the common underpinnings of many Big Data systems is near and dear to my heart”

3. Tal Weiss, CEO @ OverOps

What: Exercise in machine learning
Who: Jan Machacek
When: Tuesday at 18:00pm
Why: “This talk leads a hands-on approach with some of the hottest tech available today: Building a system that collects data from a wearable fitness tracker, communicating through a mobile app to an actor system with some help from Spark to process the data.”
Pssst… This just in: If you ever need to debug your application in production, here comes a session that will help you master 5 advanced production debugging techniques for Scala and Akka. Check out Tal’s talk on Tuesday @ 13:20pm.

4. Noel Welsh, Partner @ Underscore

What: Types vs Tests: An Epic Battle?
Who: Amanda Laucher
When: Wednesday at 10:25am
Why: “Even after six years of using Scala I feel like I’m still evolving my approach to testing. I certainly write fewer tests than when I was using a dynamically typed language but I certainly don’t feel that types replace all tests. I’m hoping this talk will directly inspire my current programming practice.”

5. Jan Mahchek, CTO @ Cakesoultions

What: Ensime – why would anybody build another Scala IDE?
Who: Sam Halliday and Rory Graves
When: Wednesday at 11:35am
Why: “I keep hearing wonderful things about Emacs, yet all I know is just how to quit it once I start it. And I could that as an achievement. So, I am very keen to find out what Sam’s been up to with Ensime, and hopefully find out enough of Emacs-magic to give it a serious try.”
What: The road to sbt 1.0 is paved with server
Who: Josh Suereth and Eugene Yokota
When: Wednesday at 15:40pm
Why: “Every time I use SBT in my projects, I learn something new. It is wonderfully flexible, once one finds how to use it properly, that is. The SBT mastermind Josh will no doubt show me many useful things I can use in my projects now; more importantly, he’ll show where SBT is heading.”

6. Richard Dallaway, Partner @ Underscore

What: Lambda Architecture with Spark Streaming, Kafka, Cassandra, Akka and Scala
Who: Helena Edelson
When: Tuesday at 11:35am
Why: “That’s a big stack of ideas, and hearing from Helena’s experiences seems like astonishing good way to spend 45 minutes.”

7. Toby Sullivan, Engineering Lead @ Hootsuite

What: GraphX: Graph analytics for insights about developer communities
Who: Paco Nathan
When: Tuesday at 10:25am
Why: “Paco Nathan’s talk on GraphX and his analysis of developer communities will probably be my highlight of Scala Days 2015. Representing data as graphs is the next big step for businesses looking to uncover critical insights. Seeing how this is being done in the real world will be helpful as I start learning how to apply these concepts at Hootsuite.”

8. Martin Zaplatel, Software Engineer @ Cakesoultions

What: Project Gålbma: Actors vs. Types
Who: Roland Kuhn
When: Tuesday at 10:25am
Why: “The Actor model and Akka in particular has proven to be a very powerful tool to express truly asynchronous and distributed systems. This project adds compile time type checks to Actor interactions, introduces some other new approaches that further improve Akka and removes some previous constraints.”
What: So how do I do a 2-phase-commit with Akka then?
Who: Lutz Huehnken
When: Wednesday at 14:30pm
Why: “The talk looks into threading and some pitfalls of distributed computing. It should help with mindset change and explain how asynchronous and distributed computing must be approached.”

9. Lutz Huehnken, Solutions Architect @ Typesafe

What: Function-Passing Style, A New Model for Asynchronous and Distributed Programming
Who: Heather Miller and Philipp Haller
When: Tuesday at 16:50
Why: “I’ve seen talks by both of them and really like their presentation styles. And the topic is just in the right space in between theoretical considerations and real-world usefulness. I’m over-simplifying here, but it’s basically about leaving your data where it is and get the code to the data (rather than the other way around, as is often the case). A concept with immediate appeal in the big data world, but not too easy to get right. Don’t miss that one!”

And the top picks are…


10:25am – Type-safe off-heap memory for Scala // Denys Shabalin
10:25am – GraphX: Graph analytics for insights about developer communities // Paco Nathan
10:25am – Project Gålbma: Actors vs. Types // Roland Kuhn
11:35am – Lambda Architecture with Spark Streaming, Kafka, Cassandra, Akka and Scala // Helena Edelson
13:30pm – Fixing Reactive Code at 100 Miles per Hour: Five Techniques to Improve How You Debug Scala and Akka // Tal Weiss
13:30pm – From Source: Scala at Twitter // Stu Hood
14:30pm – The Twelve Factor App: Best Practices for Scala Deployment // Joe Kutner
16:50pm – Large volume data analysis on the Typesafe Reactive Platform // Martin Zaplatel
16:50pm – Function-Passing Style, A New Model for Asynchronous and Distributed Programming // Heather Miller and Philipp Haller
18:00pm – Exercise in machine learning // Jan Machacek
18:00pm – Essential Scala: Six Core Principles for Learning Scala // Noel Welsh


10:25am – Types vs Tests: An Epic Battle? // Amanda Laucher
10:25am – Why Spark Is the Next Top (Compute) Model // Dean Wampler
11:35am – Ensime – why would anybody build another Scala IDE? // Sam Halliday and Rory Graves
13:20pm – Towards Browser and Server Utopia with Scala.JS: an example using CRDTs // Richard Dallaway
14:30pm – So how do I do a 2-phase-commit with Akka then? // Lutz Huehnken
15:40pm – The road to sbt 1.0 is paved with server // Josh Suereth and Eugene Yokota
15:40pm – Low-Friction Microservices with Scala and Play // Toby Sullivan

Have some free time in-between the sessions? Then come say hi! You can recognize us by the Scala monster T-shirts 🙂

Using Akka? Request an early access invite for OverOps reactive monitoring tool.      Scala Monster

Alex is the Director of Product Marketing at OverOps. As an engineer-turned-marketer, he is passionate about transforming complex topics into simple narratives and using his experience to help software engineering navigate their way through the crowded DevOps landscape.

Troubleshooting Apache Spark Applications with OverOps OverOps’ ability to detect precisely why something broke and to see variable state is invaluable in a distributed compute environment.
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