Category Archives: Functional Programming

It’s Time To Go Functional

It was 3 years ago that I embarked on a learning adventure with Ruby and Rails, my Season of Ruby, that would change my career in ways that I could not imagine at the time. The Pragmatic Programmer recommends learning one new language a year, and though I’ve added a few languages and frameworks since then, Javascript and AngularJS to name a few, I’ve never learned a purely functional language.

My experience in programming to this point has been procedural (way back in C and assembly) and object-oriented (C++, C#, Java, Ruby).  I have no experience in functional programming, and I wonder if that leaves a gap in the tools I have in approaching a problem.  I have no idea where this will lead, or how this might change me as a developer, but that’s fine.  It worked out ok last time with Ruby.

My motivation behind this is strictly to learn a new way to think about and solve problems, not find a shiny new language/framework to land a new gig.  For that reason I am planning on learning a pure functional language, most likely Haskell. Having talked to a few people there are other options out there, but Haskell keeps coming up as the top choice if you want to learn the concepts of functional programming.

I’m planning on starting out with Learn You A Haskell For Great Good.  It is a resource that has popped up in discussions and threads as this idea has festered in my brain, but if folks have other ideas I’d love to hear them.

Stay tuned, someday soon I may actually understand what a monad is.