Functional Geekery Episode 15 – Bruce Tate

In this episode I talk with Bruce Tate. We talk about his books Seven Languages in Seven Weeks, and Seven More Languages in Seven Weeks, and cover what drove him to write the books, and what he thinks about the languages covered. We also touch on the other Seven in Seven books in the series, and what it takes if someone were to decide they wanted to write one.

Our Guest, Bruce Tate

@redrapids on Twitter


Listeners of Functional Geekery get 10% off CodeMesh 2014 when you use offer code fngeekery10.
The ErlangCamp organizers are giving listeners of Functional Geekery 15% off the price of tickets for ErlangCamp 2014 with offer code FNG15. This discount applies to tickets for dinner with the speakers as well.
Global Day of Coderettreat is November 15th. To find a Coderetreat in your area, or to organize one go to


Background of Seven Languages in Seven Weeks
Fear driven learning
“Prag” Dave Thomas
Beyond Java
Bruce’s intro to Ruby
Prevailing attitude of “One true language”
Learning for the sake of learning
The Free Lunch is Over
What languages would the next big language be?
Seven Languages in Seven Weeks was the project to try to answer that question
What is the story of where the industry is moving?
Joe Armstrong
Book was about the process of learning the languages
Mr Miyagi is the character for Factor
Clojure originally described as Mary Poppins meets The Matrix
Napoleon Dynamite as Perl
Forrest Gump as Pascal
The Griswolds as Visual Basic
“Object Oriented Programmer tries Haskell”
Dave Thomas’ ElixirConf talk
Why Ruby is limited in the long haul
Seven More Languages in Seven Weeks
“I told myself I’d never do this again”
Layering ideas on top of other languages
Idris and dependent typing
Elm for functional and reactive programming comping down to JavaScript
Evan Czaplicki
Thinking of functions of values across time
Two big Ah-Ha moments with working with Idris
Found himself thinking about the type system over code
Compile error found a logic error
The Seven More Languages: Lua, Factor, Elm, Elixir, Julia, miniKanren, and Idris
Bruce’s Presentation at ElixirConf
Elixir bring syntax, macro system, and concurrency model together
José Valim
Elixir is powerful and fast moving because of macro system
Erlang and Elixir as a powerful combination
Hex package management
Why the Cool Kids Don’t Use Erlang by Garrett Smith
Elixir Tooling: Exploring Beyond the Language by Eric Meadows-Jönsson
Seven Web Frameworks in Seven Weeks
Seven Concurrency Models in Seven Weeks
Seven Databases in Seven Weeks
“People want to know breadth”
“We need to be generalists again”
Paul Butcher
Possibility of Seven Historical Languages book
Gratification of A Seven in Seven book

A giant Thank You to David Belcher for the logo design.

5 replies on “Functional Geekery Episode 15 – Bruce Tate”

Very interesting, as always.

The audio is a little hard to understand at times due to low microphone quality.

I am glad you found it interesting.

I am sorry about the audio quality. I heard some noise on the pre-call, but chalked it up to just some audio issue on my side. Realizing now, after editing the call, I probably should have tried to do a new call and see if it still persisted. I did my best at this point to get Bruce to sound as clear as possible, but sadly some of the parts probably suffered due to that. Always learning something new doing this podcast, and sometimes is it about the production process as well. 😉

I loved, loved this interview! Thanks for the extensive discussion. A couple of notes:

I think macros are very important also, and interestingly, have found in my everyday programming that almost all of the useful libraries I rely on in Scala and Haskell and Rust (latest kid on the block of statically typed ML-family languages) depend on macros. Macros are admittedly more complicated right now there than in, say, Clojure and Elixir, but vast improvements have been happening lately to make them easier to write and debug.

Also, as a personal note, I discovered ML and Haskell in 1994 because of CD-ROMs that for the Mac that included all kinds of shareware and freeware and happened to bundle a lot of language interpreters and compilers, and for me that was a turning point in my life because I had loved Scheme up till then, but ML felt like Scheme with types, and Haskell was like ML with laziness, and have been excited that 20 years later, the typed Lisp-like languages are going strong now and even growing (witness Apple’s Swift, ML-inspired). The ML family of languages is basically the merger of the Lisp and Algol traditions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.