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Progressive F# Tutorials NYC 2013

Last week saw the second Progressive F# Tutorials in New York held at the Dumbo loft, a great venue in Brooklyn literally under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Progressive FSharp Tutorials NYC 2013

The tutorials ran over 2 days with 2 keynotes:

  1. F# in an Open Source World – Don Syme, Microsoft Reseach
  2. F# Beyond Windows – Miguel De Icaza, Xamarin & Mono

F# is an open source language with a strong open source community and in his keynote Don talked about how companies and individuals are leveraging F#.

Miguel’s keynote focused on F# in Mono, and how it is now a built-in language in Xamarin Studio allowing F# to target Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and a host of other platforms.


The core of the Tutorials is 4 x 4hr deep dive tutorials spread across 2 tracks catering for both beginners and more experienced F# users. This year I teamed up with Rachel Reese and Mathias Brandewinder for 3 sessions on the beginners track.  

F# Koans

The first beginner session was the F# Koans with Chris Marinos which is a great introduction to the language. The F# Koans are a set of failing tests that you implement progressively to learn new aspects of the language.

    let ModifyingTheValueOfVariables() =
        let mutable x = 100
        x <- 200
        AssertEquality x __

In the example above you would write in the expected value for x.

Try F#

In this session lead by Rachel Reese we worked through tutorials on the Try F# site while discussing commercial uses of F#, particularly in Finance

FSharp in Finance - ProgFSharp NYC 2013 from ptrelford


Machine Learning

This session introduced F# in the context of Machine Learning, exploring data sets using a CSV type provider and the REPL. Mathias covered Naive Bayes using a set of text messages to classify as Ham or Spam, while l walked through a Decision Tree based classifier applied to a dataset for the Titanic:

Machine learning from disaster from ptrelford

Pacman Kata

The last session of the day was a Pacman Kata which culminated in creating your own behaviour for the Ghosts (or Pacman) inside a WPF version of the game using an API developed by Mathias.

Pacman ghosts 

Calling and Extending the F# Compiler

Tomas Petricek and Don Syme gave a deep dive session on the F# compiler. Tomas provided a set of samples that show how to embed the F# compiler into your own applications. During the session I began embedding the F# compiler into my open source spreadsheet project Cellz, so that as well as spreadsheet functions you can write F# expressions inline too:

FSharp in Cellz

Next up

The next Progressive F# Tutorials event will be in London on Oct 31 – Nov 1 where we will be returning to the Crypt.

ProgFsharp London 2013

If you’re interested in coming along to the New York event next year Skills Matter have a great early bird discount on at the moment.

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