In case anyone failed to spot these on Twitter:
John Fair was kind enough to take a lot of pictures at GLFPC. They’re here:
(If you took photos at the conference and don’t mind sharing them, please leave a comment. We promise to give credit where credit’s due.)
Rick Minerich who gave the keynote posted his slide deck here:
http://t.co/r7TiajWn (that’s a slideshare link copied from a tweet)
Dave Ray’s Slide Deck is here:
By the way, I want to make sure I say best of luck to Dave out there in CA. Dave is really a heck of a nice guy and I feel very lucky to have got to know him a little.
We’re planning to put together something bigger and better for next year—which is tough since us functional programmers are so reluctant to change anything.
Format Of The Event
I want to make sure that it’s clear to everyone; the event is going to be a single track in a single room. We thought this would be the best format for our initial conference. Even though it’s a single track you will be exposed to a variety of Functional Programming ideas and languages so we hope there will be something fun and new for everyone. And I’m not exaggerating even a little when I say we’ve got some of the best speakers in the country to come and talk to us.
More Details On Our Venue
We’re going to be holding the GLFPC in room LA275 on the campus. Room LA275 is in the Crane Liberal Arts and Sciences building. Here’s a link to a map of the campus: http://www.wccnet.edu/about-us/visiting/ We’ll have signage up so hopefully no one will have a tough time finding the room. I will post this link on the http://glfpc.org website so don’t worry if you later misplace this e-mail.
Here’s a link to driving directions for those driving in to Ann Arbor: http://www.wccnet.edu/about-us/visiting/driving-directions/. Again I’ll post that link on the GLFPC blog so don’t worry if you misplace this e-mail.
Get Your Twitter ID On Your Badge!
If you’d like your twitter ID on your badge, please contact me directly via e-mail. I have gotten the e-mails of those who’ve already requested this so don’t worry that I didn’t see your message. On the other hand if you mailed me and I didn’t respond–mail me again. Spam filters can be aggressive.
Along those same lines, if you have interest in a particular language and you’d like that on your badge, I can also print that on people’s badges as well. Might help us to find like-minded developers. I’m planning to put F#, Scala and Clojure on my badge cause I’ve played with all three and they’re all interesting to me. Again, just e-mail me and I’ll add it to your badge. Or you can write on your badge when you get there too.
Coffee and Bagels and Scones, Oh My
We’ll have coffee and bagels (and some scones) available on the morning of the event. However, we won’t have decaf so if you really don’t like high octane in your morning beverage, you probably want to get your coffee before you get to the event. We’re also planning to have some hot water and tea for those who like that. By the way, big thanks to Atomic Object who are picking up the cost of coffee service for us. Next time you see an Atomic Object employee, treat them to a coffee.
You know how WiFi at a conference is usually not so hot (although kudos to CodeMash cause theirs was great this year)? Well, guess what–WCC has campus-wide WiFi so for this event anyway, you should be able to get WiFi that will be comparable to your workplace.
Meet Your Fellow Functional Nerds Before The Festivities
We’re going to have an informal get together on Friday May 4 for anyone who cares to join. Probably 6 pm or so at the Habana Cellar Lounge (thanks Chris Marinos and Dianne Marsh for your recommendations). Watch this space for more details. As I say, this will be quite informal–no need to register or anything of that sort. Maybe we’ll all wear red carnations so we can find each other–or maybe not.
O’Reilly Media has graciously offered to donate some functional programming books for us to give away so we’re going to have some great books for some lucky developers to take home. In fact, I believe we’re going to be among the first folks in the country to get a physical, pre-release copy of one of the books in question (my fingers are crossed). So if you see any O’Reilly foks, treat them to a book.
Another Event You May Want To Know About
A quick item which may interest some of you–if you’ve got it left in you after our event, on May 31 Detroit Dev Days is going to present the Scala Koans at the Madison Building in Detroit. Dianne Marsh (who will be speaking to us), Bruce Eckel and Daniel Spiewak are the terrific trio who will lead people along the path to Scala Zen. E-mail me privately if you want more details on this.
Leaving On A Jet Plane
Finally, congratulations to Dave Ray who after he talks to us at the GLFPC will be boarding a plane to the West Coast to work for Netflix–well maybe not _right after_. I’ve always said we’ve got some of the best software development talent in the world here in the Midwest–Dave is just more proof of that. I’m really happy to see Dave show the world the kind of great developers we grow hereabouts.
Hey I want to take a moment to say a word about some of the other fine conferences we have upcoming in the next couple of months here in Southeast Michigan.
On March 24, Dave Giard and the fine folks at the Great Lakes Area .Net Users’ group have put together the Detroit Day of Azure. It’s a day-long, multiple-learning-track immersion into Microsoft’s take on cloud computing. Dave has managed to wrangle some nationally recognized talent to come talk to us about how to best use Microsoft’s cloud offerings.
On April 21, we’ll have a chance to work on our soft skills at KalamazooX Honestly I don’t know a lot about this but I understand it’s a great conference. One of the speakers at our conference, Leon Gersing aka RubyBuddha will be speaking at this conference too. If you’ve never seen Leon speak, treat yourself–he’s one of the best speakers you’ll ever see, technical or otherwise.
April 27 through 29, there’s Penguicon over in Dearborn. Honestly I’ve never been but always meant to go–I hear it’s awesome.
After our conference, Dave McKinnon is putting on the second annual MobiDevDay on May 19. Lots of love for our colleagues that build for mobile platforms and Dave has lined up some top-notch speakers. I have been to several of the DevDay events over the last couple of years and Dave does it right.
We are really pretty fortunate around this part of the country in that we’ve got a lot of fine technical conferences upcoming. We’ll do our best to insure that the Great Lakes Functional Programming Conference lives up to that same standard of excellence.
Wow. I have to confess I’m a bit taken aback by all the interest in functional programming. Where were all you people when I was trying to get the Commercial Users of Functional Programming-Michigan going? (I kid, I kid.)
We are aware of the fact that there are people who haven’t gotten tickets who would like to. We’re trying to find a bigger venue—we don’t want to overcrowd the room. Dianne Marsh from SRT Solutions has been asking around over there in Ann Arbor.
In the meantime, we’re working on getting the schedule finalized (we’re close), we’re working on getting speakers bios and abstracts up (check the Speakers page) and we’re working on getting all the other details finalized so we have a great informative and fun day of talking about Functional Programming. We’ve also added some information about some of the sponsors helping us to get this conference going—they’re over on the right. Please visit their websites to let them know that you’re grateful for their assistance.
In the meantime, we’ve created a waitlist on EventBrite so if you know folks who want to get a ticket, please direct them there. If we make more tickets available the people on the waitlist will get first shot at them.
Someone asked me this today and it’s a fair question so I thought I’d write up a little something to address the question.
This developer noticed that I often blog about F# so he asked me if the Great Lakes Functional Programming Conference would be of interest to developers working in other functional languages. The answer is a most emphatic yes. If the Great Lakes Functional Programming Conference were solely concerned with F#, we’d call it the Great Lakes F# Programming Conference–truth in advertising so to speak.
Dave McKinnon and I had been tossing around the idea of having a day long conference solely for discussing functional programming. Functional programming seems to be poised to make the leap from the academic realm to the practice of the working software engineer, as object-orientation and structured programming did before it. As more and more developers are asked to start taking advantage of multi-core chips concurrent and parallel programming will come to the fore and the functional programming story in this regard is very good. As more and more moves to the cloud, functional’s stateless model will come to the fore and allow programmers to build more bullet-proof systems. Dave is committed to building the best community of software developers in the world here in Detroit and I am wholly in agreement with him. One aspect of the best community of software developers in the world is mastering new technologies as they come along.
So Dave and I discussed how we might best structure a single day conference for developers interested in hearing more about functional. Dave pointed me to the UK firm Skills Matter; for the last three years they’ve staged Functional Programming Exchange–a day long event devoted to all things functional. At Functional Programming Exchange they discuss Haskell, F#, Scala, Erlang and all things functional.
I was also aware of an F# Users’ Group in Cleveland, Ohio and a pocket of functional programmers in Kalamazoo. And then someone pointed out that one of the guys from Atomic Object in Grand Rapids had written a blog post about how useful Seesaw is. Well Dave Ray from Ann Arbor is the author of the Seesaw Clojure library. It seemed like a sign–one Michigan software developer blogging about the work of another Michigan software developer. It seemed to say “It’s really time to try to get all of the functional programmers around the Great Lakes together for a day to meet, learn and socialize.”
So I contacted Dianne Marsh, a nationally recognized expert on Scala, and asked if we could maybe get together over in Ann Arbor. Quick as a flash, being the supportive person she is, Dianne gave me the go ahead. So May 5, 2012 is zero hour for the first gathering of those who are coding functional code and those who would like to.
If this sounds fun or interesting to you, keep your eye on this space. I can guarantee a great day with other developers who want to be there as the edge of new technology cuts into the future.