A few weeks ago, thirteen Flyers headed to Fort Mason in San Francisco for Scala Days SF, one of the biggest Scala conferences in the world. Our engineering team has been using Scala for a few years, which puts us in the camp of early adopters for the language.
While it was hard not to be distracted by the panoramic views, first and foremost, the team was there to learn. Or, as Jerome Thibaud, Director of Technology puts it: “Soak in all things Scala.” The presentations ranged from early research (type-safe off-heap memory for Scala) to concrete solutions programmers can use today (legacy modernization from monolithic PHP to reactive SOA).
Scala Days was also a valuable opportunity to talk with others in the community about all the cool stuff Ticketfly is doing with Scala, and vice-versa. For example, our Akka-based Inventory Allocator, our real-time event statistics monitor for venue owners and promoters, and our fraud detection tool.
Scala was established in 2003, but it hasn’t reached nearly the popularity of old standbys like Java. For example, Scala Days SF played host to around 800 developers. The JavaOne conference, hosted by Oracle, draws tens of thousands of developers each year. Current Scala users believe that kind of usage is where the language could be headed. For instance, we’ve used Java, Groovy, and Grails at Ticketfly for the last six years, but, says Jerome, “since its introduction in our stack three years ago, Scala and its ecosystem (Play, Akka) have emerged as the natural next step.”
Fly engineers have quickly grown fond of Scala—although there is a learning curve (Scala is rich with concepts that aren’t familiar to many). However, the language blends OOP and FP elegantly and, with some discipline, developers can safely and gradually transition into it. In the end, Scala wins people over because it allows a programmer to express her intent more directly. Java and similar languages typically have a lot of boilerplate that gets in the way of communicating intent. With Scala, there are fewer hoops to jump through.
For folks like Jerome, the highlight of Scala Days was meeting people and putting Ticketfly on the engineering map. “We’re solving some really interesting problems with Scala and it was great to get to share that with people, and see how interested they were in what we’re working on.”
Our booth was at the center of the action—in no small part due to our team whipping out the Jameson and offering shots all around on St. Patty’s Day.
Bringing the luck of the Irish to Scala Days
Says Jerome: “We consider Scala vital to our success as an engineering organization, so we have a vested interest in supporting its growth and the community that’s sprung up around it. The more developers are into Scala, the more software will become available in the language. It’s a very community-driven and symbiotic relationship.”
We’d love to bring on more people who are equally excited and knowledgeable about Scala and the technology and what you can do with it. Check out our job listings at start.ticketfly.com/careers.