Scala: fewer lines of code and better pay?

Posted by s.hettrick on 22 December 2011 - 1:45pm

Scala.jpgBy Joanna Leng, independent computational scientist.

I was recently thinking about Java accreditation, but a friend suggested that I should learn Scala instead. I did a quick web search and found that Scala was more compact than Java (it required fewer lines of code to produce the same outcome) and that Scala programmers tend to be paid more than Java programmers. So when I saw a talk called Scala kickstart I decided to give it a go.

The talk was given by Jan Machacek from Cake Solutions (the slides are also available).

So what is Scala?

  • It is a fusion language that combines object oriented with functional programming (it is not a purely functional programming language though).
  • It is statically typed.
  • It is easy to adopt, because it works with existing Java byte code and produces Java byte code. Scala is normally used in combination with Java either because you are building upon legacy codes or because you need the Java Swing UI.

It also has some cool features:

  • It can convert text to speech.
  • The acca libraries which handle parallel programming and multithreading well - better than Java.

The talk went through six elements that you need to be proficient in Scala, and it was clearly and well presented. The official Scala web site also looks to be a great resource and, of course, you can download Scala to try it out.

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