Put open source to work
July 16–17, 2018: Training & Tutorials
July 18–19, 2018: Conference
Portland, OR

Pony: How I learned to stop worrying and embrace an unproven technology

Sean Allen (Wallaroo Labs)
11:00am11:40am Thursday, July 19, 2018
Emerging languages
Location: E145
Level: Beginner
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Software engineers and architects

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience programming in a modern programming language
  • A basic understanding of the difficulties of creating fast and safe code using non-actor-based programming models (useful but not required)

What you'll learn

  • Explore Pony, a new high-performance, capabilities-secure actor-model language


Conventional wisdom holds that you should never build your business on top of bleeding-edge technology. However, when Wallaroo Labs set out to build its high-performance stream processing engine, Wallaroo, the company chose to implement it in Pony—a high-performance actor-based programming language that has limited industry usage. So far, this decision has worked out very well.

Sean Allen explains what makes Pony different from other languages, the types of problems it can help solve, why he and his team used Pony, how it has made their jobs easier, and the times when Pony’s immaturity hindered them. You’ll leave with a solid understanding of Pony’s strengths and weakness so you can determine if it just might be the right language for your next project.

Photo of Sean Allen

Sean Allen

Wallaroo Labs

Sean T. Allen is vice president of engineering at Wallaroo Labs and a member of the Pony core team. His turn-ons include programming languages, distributed computing, Hiwatt amplifiers, and Fender Telecasters. His turn-offs include mayonnaise, stirring yogurt, and sloppy code. He’s one of the authors of Storm Applied.