Twitter's Alex Payne on functional programming languages

Editor's note: Andrew Mager is reporting from the Future of Web Apps (FOWA 2010) conference, held in Miami from February 22 to 24. Click here to read all of his coverage.

Editor's note: Andrew Mager is reporting from the Future of Web Apps (FOWA 2010) conference, held in Miami from February 22 to 24. Click here to read all of his coverage.

It's 2010. And we have been working on the web for 15 years.

But it's time to learn something new. The past 15 years, we have been trying to improve upon older things. Let's start fresh.

Working with object oriented programming is like a movie. You have a cast of characters with a set script. You have directors and producers. It's a time-consuming task and very error prone.

Functional programming is more like getting up to a chalkboard and writing an equation. You know how it's gonna work every time. Writing what should be done, instead of how. FP is more like finding and using mathematical abstractions to represent programs. Thinking in an analytical way. FP is value-oriented programming. State is transformed, not mutated.

Speed, security, stability: you have to make sure these fit into your programming routine. How do you pick a language?

Picking a framework is hard too. Make sure that when you move old code to a new stack, you have a strong integration point.

Try Scala or another FP language, and build your app with it. Let me know your thoughts on OOP vs. FP.

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