Reasons to support ReasonConf 2018

As you probably know already, I’m one of the organizers of ReasonConf that will take place May 11–13th in Vienna, Austria.

What is Reason and why should I care as a company?

Reason is a new programming language built on top of OCaml — an established language and an ecosystem trusted by companies like Facebook, Docker, Bloomberg and many others.

Reason is developed by Facebook and offers first class support for ReactJS. That’s probably the reason it’s especially popular in the ReactJS community.

Reason aims to solve several long-standing issues of JavaScript — the language and the ecosystem:

1. Build projects faster, with less bugs and less maintenance costs

“Move fast and break things” might fit well for an MVP but as soon as your product starts growing, any breakage can cost you lots of money.

Reason offers a strong type system, better syntax analysis and smart compilers. Its type system is superior to what you’d get from TypeScript or even Flow (which is inspired by OCaml) and most importantly, it requires less effort to maintain. As a result, there are no runtime exceptions in production.

Reason is being actively used by the Facebook’s Messenger team and here is how they describe the experience:

Messenger used to receive bugs reports on a daily basis; since the introduction of Reason, there have been a total of 10 bugs (that’s during the whole year, not per week)!

And please don’t forget ReasonML offers an ability to easily interop with JavaScript!

Use packages from NPM/Yarn with minimum hassle, or even drop in a snippet of raw JavaScript while you’re learning!

Of course, it’s a tradeoff for stability but I think it’s worth the productivity gain.

2. Bring and keep new developers

Everyone knows how hard it is to find senior developers. And it is even harder to keep those people on board. Technical debt and lack of time is one of the reasons for software engineers to burn out and leave.

Writing maintainable code in JavaScript requires a lot of discipline and it scales badly as the team grows. Unfortunately, linters can’t solve all those problems. Also, everyone is so attached to their own code style that code reviews are often become a nit-picking sessions.

Reason solves this by requiring strong type safety, a pre-defined code style and helpful compiler messages. If the program compiles, it won’t probably have any runtime bugs. This gives developers confidence when working on a legacy code base.

3. Introduce JavaScript developers to functional concepts

I Reason’s goal is to keep the syntax as close to ECMAScript as possible. It’s a controversial decision but it has its benefits. By doing so it allows on-boarding JavaScript developers without any experience with ML languages quickly.

We’ve successfully onboarded regular JavaScript folks to Reason; in the most extreme case, an intern with no JS knowledge was able to ship ReasonReact code in production (and made 0 bug while doing so).

4. Competitive advantages

Keeping track of emerging technologies is key to get ahead of competitors and outperform them on the long run. Accenture, one of the biggest consulting agencies in the world, is already using Reason for some of their enterprise clients. And you know what? They are also decided to become a gold sponsor for the ReasonConf!

Why should you sponsor ReasonConf?

So if you’re thinking: “we aren’t using Reason yet, so we should not go there nor sponsor it”, think again.

ReasonConf will gather leading members and visionaries of ReasonML, React, JavaScript and OCaml communities in one of most beautiful European cities. We expect 180 attendees who are talented and smart software engineers from around the world. They are proficient in JavaScript and React and understand that if we want to continue building even more complex software for the web we’ll need more robust and efficient tools.

We all are excited about the future of the web platform. If your company is relying the web platform to run the business, we believe you should attend ReasonConf and maybe consider sponsoring it.

If you have any questions, please let us know:

Patrick, Nik and Andrey

Thanks to Patrick Stapfer and Juho Vepsäläinen

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