Meditations on type-systems

Using meetup talks as a learning motivation

A couple of days ago I held a talk about type systems at a local functional programming meetup.

Seeing that I primarily work in Ruby and Javascript, the research I had to do while preparing for this talk was a way for me to dig deeper into the matter of type systems.

One thing I noticed about learning new non-trivial concepts is that setting firm deadlines and producing something shippable (like a talk) works wonders. If you’re not a very disciplined person (like me), chances are that you’re going to put off doing actual research and instead skim the surface of the topic by reading blog posts. But blog posts can only get you up to a certain point. Beyond that point you’ll have to do the hard work and read books or relevant research papers from the domain.

Most people want people around them to think they are smart. You can use that vanity we all have in ourselves to your advantage by setting yourself up to give a presentation in front of an interested audience. This will force you to do your research properly because you probably don’t want to look stupid in front of your peers.

That’s what works for me and I think it works well for now.

The slides were build using remark.js and are hosted here.

Originally published at