You could have invented monads!

Of all the computational abstractions that functional programming has brought to the table, monads seem to be disproportionately more popular than the rest. (Or should I say, notorious?) The web is filled with monad tutorials, ranging from those using pure mathematics to explain the idea, to those using (half-baked) metaphors like burritos and space-suites. One might think this should make it relatively easy to grok monads. Unfortunately, many of these tutorials do a rather poor job, and do not help students gain an intuition for the idea. This has resulted in an unparalleled FUD around monads.

A part of difficulty people have when learning functional programming abstractions such as monads comes from the fact that, this new way of thinking involves looking for abstraction opportunities in places they’re not used to.

In this talk, I will start by presenting some seemingly unrelated day-to-day code examples. I will underline the problems common to all of them, and then we will all together derive a general abstraction applicable to all of them. If you can follow through till the last bit (and in my experience, most of the audience does), you have not only understood but essentially re-invented monads!

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

See the abstract.

Learning Outcome

Understanding/deriving monads.

Target Audience

Programmer

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

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