Saturday, September 14, 2013

Reactive Programming Exercise With baconjs

For the September 2013 Boston Software Craftsmanship Group meeting I ran an exercise in Reactive Programming. Reactive programming is a programming paradigm that is all about data streams. It's getting a lot of attention these days, from people using it in iOS development to deep interest in the Scala community and even a coursera course on it
The basic idea of Reactive Programming is stream processing. It allows for declarative programming about streams of events and calculations / transformations that are declared on a stream and triggered with events from that stream. Once you start thinking about it (or at least once I started thinking about it) you realize data streams are everywhere. Streams are so fundamental to programming it surprises me we don't model with them more often. Or maybe it doesn't surprise me, maybe this is yet another point in the history of software engineering that programmers of the 70s & 80s are head-desking that as an industry we're "discovering" a concept. But, better late than never!
In 2+ hours we took a room full of 8 programmers, gave them some hands on experience, and a taste of what modeling with streams might be all about. From what folks said after the meeting it was a success. I know it was one for me: Streams man, they're everywhere.
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