CodeMash 2016 Review: 7 Languages in 7 Hours

Duane OdumPresenter

Amber Conville

Sadly, I was unable to make it through all 7 as duty called on numerous occasions throughout the day, but I must say I experienced a wide range of emotions.  We utilized the Prime Factors Kata for each language rather than the simple Hello World or To Do applications which I found to be an interesting challenge as I was consistently Googling syntax-related issues.  The 3 languages I missed out on in the session were Go (seriously disappointed I missed this one), Scala and Elixir.  Quick summaries of the ones I did get to attend are listed below:


My curiosity around Ruby was finally sated a bit as we do have some projects with Ruby on Rails here at IBS, but I have not been involved in them.  Of the 4 languages I worked with today, I think this is the one that would have the least amount of ramp up time for me to become proficient at.  I wouldn’t say becoming a Ruby “expert” is an expectation for me at this point (as I realize the hands-on experiences required to use that word), but Pluralsight here I come!


My insecurities regarding imposter syndrome were completely realized while fumbling around with this one for about 25 – 30 minutes.  I eventually gave up on the kata and just tried to learn as much as I could by going through the online version of Clojure for the Brave and True.  As I only had about 25 minutes left after finding this, I made it through the first 3 chapters (I already had my environment setup and Emacs installed which account for Chapters 1 and 2). I don’t feel overly confident that I could pick this one up without some serious hands-on experience, or spending a lot of reading time upfront.


This one took me back to my first go around of college in 1999.  If I recall correctly, it was Haskell 98 and that was really my first foray into programming.  I was a business major at the University of Cincinnati and figured I would take a programming class as an elective…I joined the US Army after that semester.  After being overwhelmed with a sense of nostalgia, I realized the syntax was pretty easy to follow along with and most of the concepts are pretty easy to follow too.  After finishing up the kata, I found another online book called Learn You a Haskell for Great Good! that really started to pique my interest, but I will probably let this one fall to the wayside for now.


I have to admit I did not follow the esprit de corps on this one…I didn’t even do the kata because I found the site Rust By Example.  That site made me feel like a coding guru (which I am definitely not).  I knew very little about this language when I started this session, but the way that the Rust By Example site is setup makes it extremely easy to learn this language if you are already familiar with programming.   By foregoing the usual “Here is why you should use this language for your project”, “Here are a couple samples” and providing the examples in the browser, they have made it so easy to learn that even if you don’t necessarily want to learn Rust you should really just give it a shot.


Thankfully Rust came after Clojure, so I got a little bit of a confidence boost after getting knocked down a few pegs.  I cannot wait to see what comes from Day 2 at CodeMash 2016!

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