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Programming Scala: Scalability = Functional Programming + Objects Paperback – 14 Dec 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 586 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (14 Dec. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1491949856
  • ISBN-13: 978-1491949856
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.4 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 160,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

Scalability = Functional Programming + Objects

About the Author

Dean Wampler, Ph.D. is a Consultant for Typesafe, where he specializes in helping clients succeed with Scala and Functional Programming projects. He works with "Big Data" tools like Hadoop, Spark, and Machine Learning libraries, and Reactive tools like Akka and Play. Dean is an O'Reilly author and a frequent conference speaker and organizer. He has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Washington.

Alex Payne is Platform Lead at Twitter, where he develops services that enable programmers to build atop the popular social messaging service. Alex has previously built web applications for political campaigns, non-profits, and early-stage startups, and supported information security efforts for military and intelligence customers. In his free time, Alex studies, speaks, and writes about the history, present use, and evolution of programming languages, as well as minimalist art and design.


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great all-round coverage of the language and an excellent resource for anybody learning and working with Scala. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b9bd1e0) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b630c24) out of 5 stars From a Critic's Point of View 14 Mar. 2015
By Michael - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First let me say that scala is a very tough language to learn, it has a lot of tough semantics in it. However, if you learn it, you could dish out code faster than any java 8 developer. I'm going to try very hard to not make this a review of scala the language. Even though I like scala in general, I could easily write several pages of criticism for the language.

In general, this book is great and very thorough. The authors went into a lot of detail on many topics. I would highly recommend this book to anybody. However, I'm partly saying that because the scala-lang website documentation is old, insufficient, and completely out of order.

That being said, there are some parts that are far more confusing than they need to be. The author has a bad habit of showing you a feature in scala long before he explains it, and that is why I decided to give this four stars instead of five.

Chapters four (pattern matching) and five (implicits) were especially difficult to follow because the authors kept using language features before they explained them. I had to read each of those chapters twice before I understood them.
- They show you implicit type conversions a whole ten pages before they explain them (shown on page 139, explained on page 149). So of course I spent a half hour trying to understand the example before giving up.
- They start using '+:', ':+', and '::' in chapter four before they explain them.
- They use infix notation for types long before explaining it.
- Their explanation of "<:<" and "implicitly" still confuses me now, after reading that section several times.

Another thing that really bugs me is the obvious bias that the authors have for functional programming, ignoring some major flaws it has that any java veteran would see.

However, I should base my rating on how well you could learn scala the language from this book. Like I said, it goes into pretty deep details on most topics, so you could become a scala master from this book.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b8d9918) out of 5 stars Hands down best systematic treatment to the language with great in-depth stuff ... 30 Dec. 2014
By Anirudh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Hands down best systematic treatment to the language with great in-depth stuff about everything scala - treats functional programming very systematically, provides stuff that you'd use in everyday life, excellent for comprehension tutorial - If you look at scala in action - and compare it with this book - scala in action barely skims over those - fantastic book - buy this one - and later on add functional programming in scala (the red book) perhaps if you need to. I wish I knew about this one before ...
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bbd6504) out of 5 stars Exceeded my expectations 25 Nov. 2015
By Publius - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was not the first Scala book that I read. I read Cay Horstmann's book Scala for the Impatient and partially read Odersky's book. The Horstmann book is itself a very good book. So I thought that reading this book would just be "review". Instead, I found this book treating topics in a much deeper way than I expected and that it really broadened my understanding and horizons. I can tell that a lot of work went into this book and its organization. I found it well worth the read and $.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bbd66c0) out of 5 stars Learning as Fast as I Can Read 8 Oct. 2015
By Travis Parks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I always knew I was missing something when reading Martin Odersky's book. This book is really bringing it all together. In retrospect, Martin's book is more academic in nature and kind of baby-steps you into Scala. This book is far more practical, especially for someone who just wants to adopt idiomatic Scala. Prepare for a total data dump, though - this book is really high-paced and full of useful coding patterns. But Dean points them out, so you won't miss it if you follow along carefully. For example, using :_* to tell the compiler to expand a method argument... so fundamental, useful and unbeknownst to me. No more accidental Seq[Seq[T]] for me! I'm already seeing my code become much more expressive. This book has really helped boost my understanding of matching, case classes and partial functions. And I'm only on chapter 5!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b7de228) out of 5 stars Not Your First Scala Programming Book 4 July 2016
By Dexter Legaspi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This will probably come across as a harsh review of the book but I want the potential buyers to know what they're getting into when they buy this book. Just to put into context of where I was when I purchased this book: I consider myself a seasoned software developer; I've adapted a functional way of doing Java development since the introduction of Google Guava pre-v8 and adapted the native lambdas and streams as soon as Java 8 became ready for prime time. I have also written software using Groovy but not as large scale.

Now on to the review of this book. As other not-so-positive reviews has mentioned: this book goes to the deep end way too quickly, introducing advanced concepts without much explanation and by the time it finally (tries) to connect the dots, the reader is already drowned in confusion and frustration. Just an example, it introduces Akka actors in the beginning chapters. Yes, I know! The very essence of Erlang thrown right on your face when you barely went through the book's "hello, world" example! It kind of feels like Tom Cruise's character in "Edge of Tomorrow" on his first day on the battle; you're sent to kill these horrific-looking Cthulhus when you can't even disengage your weapons safety switch.

Scala is a *difficult* language as it is already, with all of its nuances and enough syntactic sugar to cause diabetes, and this book does not help so much in getting the reader learn at a good pace. I literally found myself reading sections more than twice trying to decipher what I've just read. I felt dumber every time I put the book down to resurface.

The authors are clearly smart and are Scala experts. I think this book's failure is mainly due to terrible editing/organization and not establishing who really its intended audience is: is it a Scala beginner's book or a Java-developer-transitioning-from-imperative-to-functional-book? I believe it would have been more successful if it focused on the latter.
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