Episode 134 – Claude Rubinson

In this episode I talk with Claude Rubinson. We talk his experience learning and using functional programming as a sociologist, organizing software user groups, and more.

Our Guest, Claude Rubinson.

Claude Rubinson
Houston Functional Programmers website
Houston Functional Programmers on Twitter
OCaml Café on Twitter


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Topics [@2:01]

Welcome Claude
About Claude
Being a Sociology Professor and being on a functional programming podcast
How Claude got interested in Functional Programming
Larry Wall
“Learn a functional programming language for good measure”
Reading books and listening to podcast
Trying to understand the philosophy of functional programming
Houston Functional Programming User Group
Claude’s previous background with software
University of Georgia
Compensation Survey going full-in on the internet
Active Server Pages
The Dot-Com bust
Berkeley Unix Users Group
O’Reilly Press
“sed & awk” book
University of Arizona
Charles Ragin
Qualitative Comparative Analysis
Boolean Algebra and Set Theory
Tuscon Free Unix Group
Having to write own version of software for Linux
University of Houston Downtown
Houston Python Meetup
What made Functional Programming attractive for next re-write
“You don’t really understand recursion”
Modeling Data in a SQL Database
Using Programming Language to impose rigor on thinking
Algebraic Data Types
Immutable Data
Gene Kim’s “Love Letter to Clojure”
The Biggest Problem in Functional Programming
Having to pick things up really quickly
Was lucky to be able to take the time to absorb ideas
Getting Up and Running with an OCaml project
“This is hard, it is going to take some time, and that is okay.”
Eric Normand’s perspective on explaining as “Data, Calculation, and Actions”
Telling a story of the problem before selling the solution
Functional Programming for taming complexity and scalability
Picking a “Functional Forward” or “Functional First” language
What Claude appreciated the Functional Programming community
High Signal to Noise ratio
Generous and kind community
Members know a number of languages, so can provide comparisons between languages
How Claude uses Type Systems
Ousterhout’s Dichotomy
Using the type system to think through reasoning
“How to do QCA well”
Using Type Signatures (without code) to map the process
“Understanding the Ontology of Measurement”
Writing good clean functions that stand on their own
“Working in OCaml to understand how to do QCA and how to do it well”
Houston Functional Programming User Group
Likely sticking to Hybrid Format
Always looking for speakers
“Introduction to” gets more people showing up
Encourage people to give presentations (even if short ones)
OCaml Café
Call for stability from Programming Language Designers and Library maintainers

As always, a giant Thank You goes to David Belcher for the logo design.