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A list of talks I’ve found very interesting and thought provoking.

Why Functional Programming Matters

Video: https://youtu.be/Z35Tt87pIpg

Speaker: John Hughes

Description / Thoughts: As per the title - why Functional Programming matters. The language used in the talk is Haskell. Unsurprisingly, functional programming in this talk refers to Haskell or a language inspired / very similar to it, or at least a language which allows for laziness - given how laziness plays an integral part of quite a number of examples the author touches on.

Things start rather academic / toyish, but I think by the 20 minute mark I got sucked into the talk. I saw this widely circulated on my Twitter feed in March 2016 and decided I just had to listen to the talk to determine if it was that good - and it is - probably one of the best 1 hour I’ve ever invested. I’ve seen quite a number of promos on functional programming (in the Haskell sense) but even then, I must admit that I got more and more mind blown as the talk reaches the end - even though I’ve seen some of the examples prior to the talk. If by the end of the talk you’re still not convinced that functional programming matters, then I think you can stop trying to convince yourself that it matters.

And my, is John Hughes a great storyteller - wonderful presentation skills.

Simple Made Easy (by Rich Hickey)

Link: http://www.infoq.com/presentations/Simple-Made-Easy

Short Description: A talk by Rich Hickey, creator of the Clojure programming language, on Simple vs. Easy. Much of what we think of as “simple” in computer programming is in fact easy (and not simple), and the difference between simple and easy becomes more and more obvious as the size and complexity of the software increases. But what exactly is simple and what exactly is easy? That is the essence of the talk.

Thoughts: I have watched this talk twice, with probably a 1 to 2 year gap in between them. I didn’t really appreciate this talk the first time round, but when a colleague mentioned it during a discussion on programming languages which led me to watching it the second time, I felt that I had merely begun to understand its contents. It was very enlightening.