Kelley Robinson

Why The Free Monad isn't Free

Data & Infrastructure Engineer

Why The Free Monad isn't Free

Functional programmers love to discuss Monads, their metaphors, and their many use cases. Recognizing that monadic design and development patterns have their place, this talk will discuss the price of implementing the Free Monad in your code - spoiler alert - it’s not free.

The Free Monad’s basis in Category Theory hails from an academic look at mathematics and functional programming, but this talk will prove you don’t have to have a PhD to understand and apply these concepts. We’ll define the building blocks of the abstraction by discussing the practical use cases, trade-offs, and alternative patterns using real Scala code. Let’s have a conversation about code complexity and the benefits and disadvantages of using theoretical concepts in an industry application.

Talk objectives:

  • Explain what the free monad is, explain why you don't have to use it, discuss code complexity.

Target audience:

  • Functional programmers, scala developers, curious people.

About Kelley

Kelley is Scala developer, most recently working with data and infrastructure at Sharethrough in San Francisco. In her spare time, she enjoys testing new recipes and trying to keep her plants alive.

Twitter: @kelleyrobinson

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