Justin Pihony at Scala Days: “Scala allows me to write expressive code in very few lines.”

A software journeyman, Justin Pihoney uses his knowledge to provide developer support at Lightbend. As much as he loves to learn, he also loves to spread his knowledge through teaching and helping others. He has authored three online courses for Pluralsight, including a Spark Fundamentals one, and is one of the top Spark answerers on StackOverflow, and organizes the Pittsburgh Scala meetups.

In advance of his talk Supporting the Scala Ecosystem: Stories from the Line at Scala Days Lausanne, we caught up with Justin to learn more about his background and about his upcoming talk.

What is your most favorite Scala Days story or memory?

At Scala Days, I simply enjoy walking around and meeting with so many colleagues I often only get to collaborate with online.

What’s your background and what does your current role involve?

I started out in the .NET (C#) world and realized that it wasn’t a big jump to Scala from there. After taking Martin Odersky’s Coursera course I was hooked – starting to write scala-esque C# code. From there I learned the language well enough to teach it as my first Pluralsight (online video training site) course. This, and a corresponding blog post drew the attention of those in Lightbend; leading me to join as a Developer Support Engineer. Now, as the manager of that team, I continue to assist other developers through any engineering pitfalls/nuances they may encounter in their daily coding and operations.

What’s the biggest highlight of your career so far?

Joining the brilliant minds of Lightbend – it’s quite humbling to work with so many intelligent people.

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

I found it to be elegant – allowing me to write expressive code in very few lines. This means that code can become closer to a reflection of the business requirements. I personally think it can solve many problems, especially as Scala 3 solidifies, but it’s especially useful in the many burgeoning data processing realms.

What is the biggest challenge Scala developers are facing today?

I think to get past the stigma that Scala is a more complex language than it really is. It seems to keep some of the more junior developers at arm’s length.

What can help address this challenge?

Scala 3 has a chance to both reduce and expand the language in such a way as to make the language more approachable to newcomers.

Who should attend your talk at Scala Days and why?

If you would like to hear about interesting edge cases from the Scala ecosystem, then my talk is for you!

Whom would you like to connect with at the conference?

Anybody interested in learning more about Scala!

Don’t miss Justin Pihony and his talk Supporting the Scala Ecosystem: Stories from the Line at Scala Days Lausanne on June 13th.

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