Emerging Tech SIG: Emerging Languages Face Off



  • Topic:
    Emerging Languages Face Off


    Come join us and our panel of experts as we figure out the relative strengths and weaknesses of three emerging languages - Clojure, Scala, and Go - and one "benchmark" language - Ruby.


    Bring your questions, and your opinions!

    Clojure advocate - Amit Rathore, author of the forthcoming "Clojure In Action"
    Go advocate - Robert Griesemer, Google, co-author of Go
    Scala advocate - David Pollak, lead author of Lift
    Ruby advocate - Evan Phoenix, lead developer of Rubinius, a high performance Ruby VM
    Moderator - Steve Mezak, co-chair of the SDForum Software Architecture and Modeling SIG, author of Software without Borders

    Note: our discussion will focus on the languages themselves, but questions about related frameworks like Lift and Rails are still in bounds.

    For those wanting a brief intro to each language before the meeting, we recommend:




    Amit Rathore is the chief software architect at Runa, Inc., a provider of SaaS services to online merchants that enable them to offer dynamic sale promotions. This is done by analyzing all click-stream data from each merchant site, and then using statistical models to predict purchase intent. The service can then make consumers various kinds of offers in an attempt to improve conversion rates. The system is all Clojure, and is one of the larger such systems in production. Other components of the system include RabbitMQ, HBase, Redis, and Ruby on Rails. Before working at Runa, Amit spent several years with ThoughtWorks as a senior developer where he worked on a variety of enterprise applications for different clients. In his spare time, he is attempting to teach his four-month old to program computers, and is authoring the upcoming book Clojure in Action.

    Robert Griesemer is one of the original authors of the Go programming language. Prior to Go, he worked on code generation for the V8 JavaScript engine and co-authored Sawzall, a domain specific language that has become one of the primary tools for processing logs at Google. Robert has more than 15 years of experience in design and implementation of industry-leading virtual machines. He worked on code generation for the high-performance Smalltalk (Strongtalk) developed at Longview Technologies, a startup whose designs ended up in Sun's Java HotSpot virtual machine. Robert was responsible for the HotSpot interpreter, much of the runtime infrastructure, and the client compiler. He worked on a Java virtual machine for embedded devices and the implementation of a variety of other programming languages including APL, Lisp, Oberon-V, and Sather. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology).

    David Pollak is author of Beginning Scala and is the Benevolent Dictator for Life of the Lift Web Framework. David narrowly escaped life as a lawyer by writing Mesa, the worlds first real-time spreadsheet. Mesa was used by notable companies including Enron, Lehman Brothers, Chrysler as well as some companies that exist today including UBS, AT&T Wireless and the London Stock Exchange. David also write Integer, the worlds fastest spreadsheet engine. David did a stint as CTO and VPE at Cenzic, a web app security company and then went on to do Ruby/Rails consulting. David discovered Scala in 2006, became a fixture/gadfly in the Scala community and founded the Lift project to take Scala's functional concepts and apply them to web development. Lift is used by notable companies including FourSquare, Innovation Games, and Novell. David holds a JD from Boston University.


    Evan Phoenix is the lead developer of Rubinius, a high performance Ruby VM. He has neither a JD nor a Ph.D. but that hasn't kept him from working full time on Rubinius for the past few years, thanks to Engine Yard. When he isn't reading some of Robert's previous work to incorporate it into Rubinius, he's working on building Rubinius into a Ruby environment he can be proud of. This means things like modern garbage collector techniques and JIT'd machine code. Before landing the dream job of designing a VM, Evan worked for a number of companies in the Seattle area, mainly working on writing backend systems in Ruby. Working on Rubinius began as a labor of love in 2006 after reading about other programming language environments and a desire to improve the language he loved, Ruby. His ability to push a one paragraph bio to the limit was honed at the University of Southern California, where he was awarded the illustrious Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from the School of Engineering.

    Steve Mezak is author of Software without Borders and CEO of Accelerance, Inc., a global software development firm with over 20 global software development partners in a dozen countries. As a technical entrepreneur and veteran of six Silicon Valley startups, Steve mastered global software development in a variety of management and technical roles, including CTO and CEO with more than 25 years of software development experience. Steve attended UC Berkeley, the City University in London, and holds a BS Degree in Computer Science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). He continues to serve as an adviser to WPI's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Steve is co-chair of the SDForum Software Architecture and Modeling SIG (the SAM SIG) and core team volunteer for the Engineering Leadership SIG. His first programming language was FORTRAN.


    6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Registration / Networking / Refreshments / Pizza

    7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Presentation