Scale By the Bay Scale By the Bay

Lessons Learned from 15 Years of Scala in the Wild


Dean Wampler
Domino Data Lab, Principal Software Engineer

Dean Wampler is an expert in data engineering for scalable, streaming data systems and applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI). He is a Principal Software Engineer at Domino Data Lab. Dean is the author of "Programming Scala, Third Edition" and other books from O'Reilly.

Scala 3 was introduced earlier this year. It introduced significant changes to the language, many of which were motivated by the lessons learned from the past 15 or so years of actual use in many open-source and commercial applications.

I'll explore these lessons and how Scala 3 addresses them. Many revolve around the pros and cons of implicits. Also, changes to the type system make it more "regular", robust, and expressive. Finally, the new, optional, and controversial "Python-like" syntax promotes even more brevity. It also acknowledges how influential and pervasive Python has become across our industry.

But there are areas where future work is required, many of which are arguably outside the scope of Scala itself. We still live in "dependency hell". We still use too many obsolete idioms that hide accidental complexity, rather than forcing us to fix it. What should we do about these issues?