I fully intend to write a post talking about stuff I learned in 2012, but in truth, I’ll probably never get around to it. The blog suffered last year because I was so busy stuffing new stuff into my head that I didn’t have the energy to write much of it down.
One of the big things I learned was that while I’ve programmed in a lot of languages, they all came from the same family and I used them all in the same way. That left a huge gaping hole in my experience called “functional programming.” There’s another hole involving functions as first class objects that I’m trying to fill up as well.
I still don’t do much functional programming in my data to day life beyond the occasional bit of Scala hacking, but I find that functional concepts make it really easy to break down certain kinds of problems regardless of which language I’m using. For example, it’s really easy to write a binary search implementation using a functional approach.
In the larger scheme of things, I was able to get away with ignoring functional programming for a long time, but I don’t think that’s possible any more. Not only are functional languages picking up steam, but functional techniques are everywhere these days if you know where to look for them.