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Introducting Functional February

Over 1 year ago

Hi everyone! Welcome to Functional February - the first themed month of the #12in23 Challenge.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about when I say #12in23, I’ll link to a couple of videos in the description to give you more info, but fundamentally we’ll challenging you to try out 12 different languages during 2023. Each month has a different theme and this month is functional programming languages.

So firstly, the aim of the month! Well it’s for you to try out functional languages, or if you’ve already worked with them before then to go a little deeper! Explore the ideas unique to functional languages - things like pattern matching, immutability, higher-order functions - learn how to think in a functional way, and most importantly have fun.

We’ve selected 9 languages that we’re focussing on this month, and we’re recommending that you start with one of Elixir, F#, or Clojure - all of which have great Learning Modes on Exercism! Elixir in particular is one of most detailed and refined tracks on the whole site - with 57 concepts to learn. Then the other 6 languages are Erlang, Haskell, OCaml, Scala, StandardML and the newest language on Exercism - Gleam!

Now for many people the most important question is how to get the Functional February badge! Well it’s pretty simple! Choose one of those languages I just mentioned and solve and publish five exercises in it! You can choose any exercises to solve other than “Hello World”, but we’re recommending five in particular that you try at some point during the month. Those are Hamming (to explore higher order functions), Collatz-conjecture (to practise recursion), Robot Simulator (to play with immutability), and both Yacht and Protein Translation (for pattern matching and higher order functions). All those are listed on the #12in23 page so you can check that later!

So, aside from solving Exercises, what else do we have in store for you? Well, firstly, we have a couple of big interviews planned. Top of the list is a chat with Jose Valim, the creator of Elixir. I’m going to be chatting to Jose, exploring why he chose to make Elixir a functional language, and putting your question to him. The secondly, I’m going to be speaking to Louis Pilfold, the creator of one of the newest functional languages - Gleam. Louis’ also going to be live streaming himself solving some Gleam exercises on Exercism, so you can see how he thinks about functional programming!

We really want this to be a month where we’re learning together and as part of that we want to encourage the community to share their experiences of functional programming. Throughout the month we’re going to be live streaming a mixture of walkthroughs and exercise-solving sessions with contributors across all of our featured languages. All of our streaming is going to be on our brand new channel on Twitch - https://twitch.tv/exercismlive - so please subscribe there so you don’t miss anything. We’ll also be adding a widget to the main site dashboard which you can keep an eye on!

On the Exercism forums, as well as just general conversations about functional languages and helping each other when we get stuck, we’re going to be having an official thread putting together all the best resource for learning and understanding functional programming languages. If you’re a seasoned functional programming dev, please come along and tell us the resources that helped you when you were learning!

We’re also going to have some exclusive Functional February swag only available this month! So keep an eye out for when we launch that.

Two quick things before we jump into the conversation with Erik.

Firstly, not enough people are requesting mentoring, and if you’re not, you’re massively missing. When you solve an exercise in a language you don’t know well, mentoring should be the first thing you’re reaching for! Having someone more experienced than you giving you personalised pointers and tips is an unbelievable way to level up, and on Exercism’s totally free and lots of fun. So this month, when you solve something and you’re not sure if you’ve written it like a functional programming pro, request mentoring!

Secondly, Exercism needs donations to survive. We’re a not-for-profit organisation trying to help as many people as possible and to do that we keep things free so that anyone in any situation can learn. If you’re fortunate enough to find yourself in a good financial situation right now and you spare a little money to support our work, please do consider donating. Frankly, if people don’t support us, we won’t survive. If you can’t afford to support us, then that’s absolutely fine - that’s why we’re free, so that we can help people that couldn’t afford to buy a product like Exercism! And finally if you’ve already donated - thank you. It’s means the world to us.

Watch the full video to see the interview with Erik.

Thanks for watching!

1st Feb 2023 · Found it useful?