James Ward at Scala Days: “Scala is a programming language that I love.”

A Developer Advocate for Google Cloud Platform, James Ward previously led an open source program and engineering blog at Salesforce.com where he was the Director, Open Source and Engineering Engagement. He also published numerous screencasts, blogs, and technical articles, as well as First Steps in Flex book that he co-authored with Bruce Eckel.

At Scala Days Lausanne, James, together with Josh Suereth and Donna Malayeri, will talk about Serverless and running Scala on the cloud, using Google Cloud as a reference serverless implementation. In advance of the talk, we spoke to James about his favorite Scala Days memory and his views on Scala’s biggest challenge and solution to that challenge.


What’s your most favorite Scala Days story or memory?

Watching 13-year-old Shadaj (Shadaj Laddad, currently a student at UC Berkeley studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) present at Scala Days 2013 about building games in Scala.

Note from the editor: We found this video! Enjoy:


What is your background and what does your current role involve?

I’m a Developer Advocate on Google Cloud where I’m exploring ways to unite Serverless and Functional Programming.

What is the biggest highlight of your career so far?

Learning Functional Programming and being able to teach it to others.

Why did you choose Scala and what problems does it solve for you?

Originally I started using Scala as a better Java. Now I use Scala so that my programs can be more provably correct.

What is the most important challenge that Scala developers are facing today?

Scala changes quickly through experimentation. There is a huge cost to everyone when libraries and developers can’t easily move to the latest versions. Easing the pain of migration to the latest and greatest is the most important challenge to overcome.

What is one thing that could address this challenge?

Tooling is the best way to address this, potentially with machine learning.

Who should attend your talk at Scala Days and why?

Anyone who cares about deploying Scala apps.

Whom would you like to connect with at the conference?

Scala developers who want programs to be more provably correct.

Tell us more, something we haven’t covered with our questions but you would really like to share with the world.

I’m incredibly thankful for all the work the Scala team has done to create a programming language that I love.

Don’t miss James Ward and his talk with Josh Suereth and Donna Malayeri “Serverless Scala – Functions as SuperDuperMicroServices” at Scala Days Lausanne on June 12th. Book your spot now.

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