PurelyFunctional.tv: How did you get into functional programming?
Caitie McCaffrey: My exposure to functional programming was in college, we had a class taught in ML and we ended up building a version of pac-man as the final project. In industry my first experience was using F# to build the Halo 4 front end service. More recently I’ve been programming in Scala at Twitter.
I actually wouldn’t identify as a functional programmer, I’m incredibly polyglot having shipped code int 10+ languages, currently I’m mostly writing golang. However I think you can incorporate the principles of functional programming, especially the benefits of pure functions into any language, and I try to do that.
PF.tv: Very briefly, what is your talk about?
CM: My talk is called The Verification of Distributed Systems. It is based on an article I wrote for the ACM Queue and that was also published in Communications of the ACM. I’ll be briefly talking about rigorous methods of verifying distributed systems like formal specifications and model checking, which can prove that a system is correct. I’m also a realist so I provide a lot of information on “Testing in the Wild,” methods for increasing confidence that your system is correct that are less strenuous or time consuming.
PF.tv: What do you hope people will take away from the talk?
CM: I think there is a lot of room for improvement in testing and verification in the software industry. The goal is to show that even these less strenuous methods have huge impact and should be used more frequently to increase the quality of our software.
PF.tv: What concepts do you recommend people be familiar with to maximize their experience with the talk?
CM: This talk is language / tech stack agnostic. The information provided in this talk is applicable across the board. There isn’t really any specific tech you need to be familiar with, I’ll go through a lot of information and have a resources section at the end which I will share.
PF.tv: What resources are available for people who want to study up before the talk?
CM: The article I wrote for ACM Queue is online here.
PF.tv: Where can people follow you online?