Building a Better Web
June 11–12, 2018: Training
June 12–14, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

Just Enough Functional Programming to be a Danger to Yourself and Coworkers

Kyle Shevlin (Fastly)
9:50am–10:30am Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Future JS and Functional
Location: 210 B/F Level: Intermediate
Secondary topics:  Developer Experience Track: Tools, Platforms, and Techniques, Hands-on, Technical

Who is this presentation for?

Web Developers and Software Engineers, All Levels

Prerequisite knowledge

This talk assumes prior knowledge of JavaScript (it uses arrow functions quite often), but no prior knowledge of functional programming.

What you'll learn

Attendees will learn how to recognize and use higher order functions, to recognize and use pure functions, to write curried functions, to partially apply those functions, and lastly to compose new functions. Essentially, they'll learn how to wield functions in all new ways.


Functional programming is enjoying a renaissance and for good reason. This programming paradigm has a lot to offer to modern web developers. However, between the vernacular and the mathematics, it can be very intimidating to get started. “Just Enough” is a talk designed to teach you the basics of functional programming in JavaScript so you and your team can get started using functional programming today.

This talk focuses on learning the fundamentals of writing composable functions in JavaScript, covering:

- Higher Order Functions
- Pure Functions
- Currying & Partial Application
- Composition

Not only will you learn what each of these are, but you will see examples written in modern, ES2015+ JavaScript. You will walk away with the understanding and resources necessary to start using functional programming in your apps today.

Normally, I give this talk in 30 minutes. There are two things I would add to this talk with the extra time alotted. I would discuss pointfree programming and look ahead to the future of functional programming in JavaScript to the pipeline operator.

Photo of Kyle Shevlin

Kyle Shevlin


Kyle Shevlin is a senior software engineer who loves JavaScript. He is a fan of React and functional programming, not a fan of semicolons, and a maintainer of a glorious beard.

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