Scala Center’s Education Roadmap

The Scala Center team is dedicated to providing regular and transparent community updates about project plans & progress. In this forum we created a new topic category to allow quicker orientation going forward: “Scala Center Updates”. Even though all feedback is welcome, we keep the right to make executive decisions about projects we lead. Overview of all our activities can always be found at https://scala.epfl.ch/records.html.

Dear Scala contributors,

The Scala Center is happy to announce the roadmap of our education-related activities.

Massive Open Online Courses (aka MOOCs) allow developers from all over the world to learn Scala from top-notch teachers.

We are currently running 6 online courses on the Coursera and edX platforms. The courses cover the Scala language itself and more (e.g. Spark, Akka, parallel programming).

However, we have noticed that a significant fraction of the soon-to-be Scala developers don’t use these online courses. The two main reasons are, first, that you would have to take several courses before being ready to work, and this would take too long, and, second, that the content covered by the courses doesn’t match the company’s needs.

For this reason, we are currently working on a new course. Our goal is to produce a single, self-contained, course, turning programmers with no prior Scala experience into ready-to-work Scala developers. A hands-on learning experience highlighting the common patterns and best practices.

We are currently working on the curriculum and the assignments of this course. We plan to release a private beta in Fall 2020, and to release the public version of the course by the end of the year.

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Companies ask for some prior production experience in Scala, even if you have done MOOC courses. How to get that experience is a problem.

Hmm – while I’m sure that’s sometimes true, I’m also sure it often isn’t true. While it’s lovely to find people with Scala experience, my usual assumption when hiring is that I’m going to find a Java/C# engineer and train them up. No idea what the actual statistics are…

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This is great to see. I wonder how many academics are on these boards. Getting Scala into industry would be easier if we could get more colleges teaching it to students. I know it gets used in a variety of places at different levels. I’d be interesting it participating in some brain-storming about how to broaden the adoption of Scala at the college level by finding areas where it is strong and making materials that would help educators use it there. I had really been hoping that Scala might gain some traction at the CS1 and CS2 level because I think that the REPL and scripting environment provide great entry points to a language that allows people to teach all the relevant concepts, but the Python has pretty much taken over ever place that moved away from Java at that level.

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I agree! That will probably be our next task :slight_smile: Get Scala taught more by universities & schools.

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@julienrf, I would be happy to help out with that if input is desired. I expect there are others on these boards who could provide some insights. I feel like the two keys are showing people that Scala is used in industry and pointing to the pedagogical advantages of the language. The first one matters because there are many CS departments that are motivated by this. Unfortunately, it creates something of a chicken and egg problem, but I think Scala has enough industry adoption to make a case for it on those grounds.

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Yes, your help would be highly appreciated, thanks a lot! Let’s schedule a meeting to talk about it.