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Guest post: Scala By the Bay

Today, we're featuring a guest post by Alexy Khrabrov, one of the organizers of Scala By the Bay. Check out his post below to learn more about this awesome Scala conference!

(Disclaimer: Typesafe is sponsoring this event :)


Scala By the Bay is the yearly SF Scala conference.  Now in the second year, under a new name, it is held at Fort Mason, a spectacular landmark location by the San Francisco Bay, next to the Golden Gate bridge.  Last year we used Intel’s training facility in Santa Clara, and had a one day conference with 200 developers attending.  We had three sponsors.  This year, it is a two day conference with 300 developers and more than 15 sponsors.  We're happy to count Typesafe among our partners and share these news with the Typesafe audience.  Last year we’ve put together the whole program by inviting the meetup speakers.  This year we ran a full CFP with early attendee voting, with the full program now available.

The way Scala ecosystem is evolving, we see two key areas where it is truly taking over the (backend) world: APIs and Big Data.  These are two big themes of the conference.  Marius Eriksen, the principal engineer at Twitter, returns with a keynote (broadly speaking) about the former, showing how functional programming in Scala scales Twitter services.  Matei Zaharia, the CTO of Databricks and creator of Spark, emphasizes the next big wave of Scala technologies adopted widely: Big Data Scala.  

The services side has several stacks available, notably Play, Akka, and Spray from Typesafe, and Finagle/Mesos from Twitter.  Each of these stacks has grown in the last year, enabling multiple web-scale companies.  Scala-based backends are increasingly the choice of scalable companies, as demonstrated by the program.  Play is the key application framework driving Scala adoption in the API context.  All of these stacks are represented in the conference program.

Similarly, Big Data Scala is driven by Apache Spark.  Spark is written in Scala, and its advanced features, such as Spark Streaming, are available only in Scala.  Spark is a foundation for other libraries, notably Spark SQL for data queries at memory speeds, MLLib for easy-to-use algorithms at cluster scale, GraphX for flexible graph formalisms, BlinkDB for sampling computations, and more.  All of these libraries can interoperate seamlessly via Scala modules and DSL capabilities. 

Other Big Data Scala frameworks include Scalding, and regardless of the framework, you program map/reduce in the large just like you do functional collections in the small — the APIs are very consistent with Scala’s own collections.  This is a Big Data Scala year, and my audacious prediction is that Spark will be the core of Hadoop, with Scala at the core of Spark.

Another first for this year is extensive Scala and Spark training.  We’re partnering with Typesafe to become a Typesafe Certified Partner, providing the classic two-day Fast Track to Scala training over two days before the conference, on August 6-7.  We leave Sunday free for the attendees to explore the wonderful Bay Area, including a Scala trolley trip for those who want to explore it together, and then run a two-day Spark course on August 11-12.  We partner with Off the Grid food truck festival and provide catered breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with our traditional never-ending coffee for developers.

Our CFP had more than 50 proposals submitted and voted on by the members.  The program reflects a wide range of Scala technologies, from distributed authentication to Play best practices to Spark streaming.  We have 24 full-length talks and half-time talks, providing the best window on the Scala world in a single track.  All of the talks are deep developer-centric talks with code examples, live coding, or immediately useful practices and deep dives into new libraries.  We run a hackathon in the first evening, and an unconference on the second, allowing more talks to be selected for presentation.

You don’t have to choose, just grab coffee (flowing unceasingly all day), a chair, and enjoy it all! Early bird tickets are still available.  Contact the organizers if you want to sponsor Scala By the Bay or have any questions about it.


Thanks Alexy! See you in August!


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Of Lightbend Akka

  • 139% ROI
  • 50% to 75% faster time-to-market
  • 20x increase in developer throughput
  • <6 months Akka pays for itself