F# is more than a technology to me. If you read my FsAdvent 2018 post, you’ll see what I mean. My last FsAdvent post was me reflecting on a year of F#, and this post is no different.
This year, I set a goal to submit a talk to a conference (with no expectation of being selected). To meet my goal, I submitted talks to Microsoft Build (I was going to be an attendee through work anyway) and Southern Fried F# on January 9th. I was rejected by Build, but my talk was accepted on March 7th for Southern Fried F#. I gave my lightning talk on April 13th called Creating a Unit Conversion Library.
I submitted talks to speak at Open F# at the end of April and found out my workshop proposal was accepted on June 26th. Here you can find my code and slides from September 27th. Attendees of the workshop wrote their first Azure Functions, their first Azure Functions in C#, and their first Azure Functions in F#… and they deployed them!
In 2018, I took advantage of the F# Software Foundation’s Mentorship Program. I had a great mentor that helped me level up in F#. I applied to be a mentee again and found out on February 11th that I was going to be paired with a mentor to learn Fable. We worked on an Azure Storage Account manager. We covered the SAFE Template, Visual Studio LiveShare, Fable, Elmish, Webpack, Paket, Fable Remoting (just that it exists), Yarn, Ionide, Giraffe, Fulma, Thoth, and other bits and pieces. It was EXTREMELY helpful.
After learning about and coding my first Fable app, I felt ready to apply to speak at FableConf. I submitted two talks, and, surprisingly, both were accepted on June 10th! On September 6th, I gave a lightning talk on Fable Remoting (see video below).
On September 7th, I gave a workshop called Build an Azure Storage Account Manager with SAFE. The end product of the workshop is remarkably similar to the app I developed with my mentor 😉. However, I simplified it to fit into the workshop time slot. New F# users learned basics and I was lucky enough to have legends Krzysztof Cieślak and Steffen Forkmann in the room. While there, I think they made some improvements to Ionide.
After being an F# Software Foundation mentee twice, I thought it was time I gave back by becoming a mentor myself. On September 7th, I was notified that I’d be working with someone on F# fundamentals. It was a great experience for both of us. I’m happy to say that he came away much more excited about F# than he had been before the mentorship, and I had some great hands-on experience being a mentor.
So, as a hobbyist F# user, this was a huge year for me! I went from using F# as a better C# to developing front-end web apps with Fable. Additionally, I spoke at three conferences (you can do it too!).