Alejandro Lujan at Scala Days: “I’m a slow learner, which helped me be a better trainer in Scala.”

A Software Engineer and Trainer with a passion for building systems and products that help others in meaningful ways, Alejandro Lujan is having fun with Big Data at Shopify and leads ScalaQuest, the game to learn Scala. He also organizes Scala Up North, the first and only Scala conference in Canada. He loves teaching and spent a few years working with Lightbend on training others on how to use Scala, Akka and Play to write elegant, solid and maintainable code.

In advance of his talk “ScalaQuest: The Scala Adventure” at Scala Days in New York on June 21st, we spoke to Alejandro about his background and role at Shopify, the challenges of teaching and learning Scala and how ScalaQuest these issues.

James Belsey at Scala Days: “Our Scala project is a challenging and fun environment to work in.”


In advance of James Belsey and Gjeta Gjyshinca’s talk “Mutating the immutable – how we manage change in large-scale applications” at Scala Days New York on June 20th, we spoke to James about Morgan Stanley’s use of Scala to solve complex problems in distributed enterprise computing, the challenges Scala developers face and the upcoming talk at Scala Days.

Ronen Kahana: “You really have to know both the data and the Spark internals to produce efficient code”

Principal Systems Engineer at AT&T Chief Data Office, Ronen Kahana has been practicing software development and enterprise architecture since the late 90’s. He is now designing and implementing ML and AI at scale using Scala, Spark, Hadoop, and Kafka.

At Scala Days New York, Ronen, together with Austin Henslee and Johan Muedsam, is hosting a workshop ‘Building Spark Apps With a Flexible, Proven Project Template”. We spoke to Ronen in advance of the workshop about his professional journey, the problems Spark solves and the upcoming workshop at Scala Days New York.  

Marina Sigaeva at Scala Days: “I am writing a children’s book about Scala”

A software engineer who graduated from Lomonosov MSU with a degree in Physics, Marina Sigaeva is a fashion, ballet and travel addict who, in her own words, “loves life and Scala”. In advance of her talk “Scala is for everyone” on June 20th at Scala Days in New York, we spoke to Marina about her vision of Scala and why she’s writing a Scala book for kids.

Teaching Scala: “How do we help people answer a question if they don’t know it exists?”

If you teach Scala, chances are you face a number of questions around mentoring engineers that are new to the language. With our all-star panel of  experienced Scala educators and teachers—ranging from academia to industry, in-person education to massive online courses—we’re inviting you to join the discussion Teaching Scala: A Roundtable Discussion on June 20th at Scala Days in New York and get a new perspective on teaching Scala to beginners. Together we’ll discuss past mistakes, lessons learned and how we can most effectively teach Scala.

In advance of the panel discussion, we spoke to the panel participants Ryan Tanner (Twitter), Mark Lewis (Trinity University), Li Neville (Spotify) and Maciej Gorywoda (Wire) about their Scala experience.