[Haskell-cafe] Coding katas/dojos and functional programming introduction

Gautier DI FOLCO gautier.difolco at gmail.com
Wed Apr 15 06:34:49 UTC 2015


Some days ago I have participated to a coding dojo* which aimed to be an
introduction to functional programming. I have also facilitate 3 of events
like this and do several talks on this subject. But I'm kinda disappointed
because each time there is a common pattern:
1. Unveil the problem which will be treated
2. Let the attendees solve it
3. Show the FP-ish solution (generally a bunch of map/fold)
I think it's frustrating for the attendees (because they don't try to solve
it) and gives a false illusion of knowledge.
I don't consider myself as a "FP guru" or anything but for me FP is a
matter of types and expressions, so when someone illustrate FP via
map/fold, it's kind of irritating.
Ironically, the best workshop I have done was on functional generalization
(you begin by two hard coded functions, sum and product, and you extract
Foldable and Monoid), but again, it's not satisfying.
We can do better, we should do better.
Have you got any feedback/subjet ideas/examples on how to introduce "real"
FP to beginners in a short amount of time (like 1-3 hours)?

Thanks in advance for your help.

* Basically you have 2 to 3 hours, a problem and you try to solve with in
iteration with different constraints
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