Functional Geekery Episode 93 – Sander Spies

In this episode I talk with Sander Spies. We talk his intro to functional programming; what made OCaml click for him; the whats, whys, and hows of Reason; and much more.

Our Guest, Sander Spies

@sander_spies on Twitter

Conference Announcements

OSCON will be taking place May 8-11 in Austin, TX. For more information and to register visit:, and use code USRG for 20% off most passes.

LambdaConf 2017 will be taking place May 25th – 27th in Boulder, Colorado. Visit for more information.

Elm Europe will be taking place June 8th and 9th in Paris, France. Visit for more information and to register.

ZuriHac 2017 will be taking place in Zurch on the 9th-11th of June. For more information, and to register visit

Oslo Elm Day is a one-day conference about Elm taking place June 10th in Oslo, Norway. Visit for more information and to register.

Curry On Barcelona will be taking place June 19-20th. For more information, visit

O’Reilly Fluent Conference will be taking place June 19–22, 2017 in San Jose, California. Visit to find out more and to register, and use code USRG for 20% off.

EuroClojure will be taking place in Berlin, Germany on July 20th & 21st. Visit for more information and to keep updated.

BusConf will be taking place the 3rd-5th of August in Frankfurt, Germany. Registration is open, and more information can be found at

The Strange Loop CfP is open! It will be held in St. Louis, MO on September 28-30, 2017 at the Peabody Opera House. To submit your CfP, visit

LambdaWorld will be taking place in Cadiz, Spain on October 26th and 27th. For more information visit and to keep updated visit

If you have a conference related to functional programming, contact me, and I will be happy to announce it.


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Topics [@4:36]

About Sander
OCaml Labs
How Sander got into software development
Java Applets
How Sander got into functional programming
Issues around managing state
Moving to use immutability and types in JavaScript
How Sander started getting into OCaml
Coming into a language with immutability and types as defaults
What set the foundation for OCaml to be quickly understood
David Nolan’s talk on immutability
“If you can remove categories of problems, do it”
Jordan Walke
Overview of Reason
Where Reason fits between JavaScript and OCaml
JavaScript is already compiling to JavaScript
Goal of introducing Reason side by side with existing JavaScript
Reason’s interaction with “unsafe” JavaScript
Reason’s fit server side as part of Node.js apps
Bridging the communities of JavaScript and OCaml
What documentation might be helpful to spread the Reason community
“Document what you are doing, [and] explain why you are doing it”
The need for more content on Reason, OCaml, and functional programming in general
What might be looking at for the upcoming future of Reason
“What would happen if you rewrote React in Reason?”
Reason Discord Channel
@reasonmlon Twitter
IRC (freenode #reasonml)
Potential of Reason on the native mobile side
Upcoming Secret Project to be announced
If you are trying out reason feel free to ask questions

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