Do Extraterrestrials Use Functional Programming?

Do Extraterrestrials Use Functional Programming?

Opening Keynote at YOW! Lambda Jam, Brisbane, 2013.

Is functional programming just the result of clever language design? Are there deeper reasons for the effectiveness of the paradigm? Why has functional programming not caught on earlier?

In this talk, we will have a look at the roots of functional programming, at their contribution to the success of the paradigm, and at the lessons we can draw to maximise the benefit we derive from functional languages. I will argue that the core of functional programming is a principled approach to software design compatible with both rigorous and agile methods of software development. It stems from a desire for purity, composability, and elegant logical properties, and I will outline how to leverage these ideas to solve practical programming problems.

A video of the talk is available at


Manuel Chakravarty

May 16, 2013