Strange Loop 2015

I recently returned from the Strange Loop 2015 conference. Many people gave great talks there, and I was glad to hear speakers on a number of interesting topics. One I particularly enjoyed was “Evidence-Oriented Programming” by Andreas Stefik. The speaker has created Quorum, a programming language where features are included only if proven to be useful in Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs). Fascinating! We also learned some tidbits from his research; for example, using RCTs it appears that “for” is an unfortunate keyword choice (compared to, say, “repeat”). He also found that static typing has a slight negative impact on productivity for beginning programmers, but a large positive impact for developers with some experience. So now there is scientific evidence that a static type system does help prevent bugs. There were many other great talks, so I do recommend this conference for software engineers who want to keep up on current trends and research.