Jed Wesley-Smith


Principal Engineer at Atlassian, Organiser of ScalaSyd

Jed Wesley-Smith is a Principal Engineer and programming philosopher at Atlassian, where he has been widely involved in architecture, performance and concurrency. Jed came to functional programming as a general solution to writing concurrent code. He is interested in techniques that minimise the potential and eliminate the possibility of errors in software. Jed is deeply appreciative of the irony of being called “academic” despite having no formal training whatsoever.

YOW! Lambda Jam 2015 Brisbane

Adoption of Functional Programming in the Sometimes Hostile Enterprise


Functional Programming, like Object Oriented and Structured Programming, is a quite radical departure from previous programming practices. Like these two previous changes in approach, change is gradual and faces significant resistance.

While the ideas around functional programming are becoming more widely accepted, actually adopting the techniques in old-school imperative teams and code bases presents significant challenges technically, culturally and politically. Exploiting the full potential of FP does require experience, and when the imperative experience vastly outweighs that of FP, importing experiences can be enormously beneficial.

This talk is about experiences introducing functional programming across a large organisation; what works and, perhaps more importantly, what doesn’t. It looks at some specific patterns and anti-patterns that should be considered for people wanting to transform any organisation that has significant existing program assets and software engineering teams. It will help form and present discussion and arguments to achieve meaningful change.