Gabriel Volpe - My Scala Story

Maria Kucharczyk

28 Feb 2024.2 minutes read

Gabriel Volpe - My Scala Story webp image

We invited Scala experts to share their Scala Stories to celebrate Scala's 20th anniversary. Gabriel Volpe is a Software Engineer specialized in a functional programming. You can visit his website and follow him on X: @volpegabriel87.

How did you first get introduced to Scala, and what did you think about it?

It was around 2013/2014 when my manager at the time encouraged me to look into Play! Framework (we were a Java shop) and immediately fell for it. A few months later, I did the classic Coursera FP course led by Martin himself and by mid 2014, I had joined a Scala shop in Buenos Aires, Argentina (pioneers in the country at the time!).

Tell us about a moment when you realized, "Aha! Scala is awesome!" What Scala's features and capabilities made you feel that way?

Higher-order functions; I still find them fascinating.

How has Scala influenced your approach to solving programming problems?

Types, types and more types. Recursion was another thing I added to my toolkit.

If you could add a new feature to Scala, what would it be, and how would it benefit developers?

Typed holes would be a cool addition to the compiler. It’ll be like an AI coding assistant guiding you through types until reaching the one that fits the puzzle.

What is your favourite programming meme?

This one:


What are your go-to tools and libraries when working as a software developer?

Nix, Neovim and the Typelevel ecosystem of libraries.

Tell us about a time when Scala proved to be a game-changer in a real-world project

Every single time. Seriously, coming from Java, it was a breeze no longer seeing the infamous NullPointerException.

How has the Scala community impacted your programming journey? Any standout interactions or support stories to share?

The idea of writing my first Scala book came out of the interaction I had with two Scala community members; I think that says more than I could tell.

Did you have any hilarious or embarrassing moments while learning Scala?

Although I started using Scala in mid 2014, I had a hard time understanding “flatMap” (and Monads more generally) until it clicked one day in 2016 when I worked using Scalaz Task for the first time.

What advice would you give to someone just starting with Scala?

Get a mentor if you can, it’ll make your life easier.

How have you seen Scala evolve over the years, especially in your field of work?

The Typelevel libraries came a long way, especially my two favorites: Cats Effect and Fs2. And well, what to say about Scala 3, I love it and I’m lucky enough to get paid to use it.

What are your predictions for the future of Scala in the next decade?

I’m bad at predictions, but let’s hope it continues to be the source of ideas for other languages to steal ideas from (not looking at you, Java) 😉

Celebrate Scala's 20th anniversary at Scalar 2024!

You can stay up to date with the latest news by following the hashtag #scalaversary on X and Mastodon. If you're a Scala programming enthusiast, be sure not to miss the Scala Fiesta at the Scalar Conference 2024. This two-day event is a great opportunity to connect with a fantastic community of functional programming enthusiasts, learn from experienced IT experts, and gain valuable insights. So, mark your calendar and join us for this exciting event.


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