Jessica Kerr

Engineer at Stripe at Stripe


Adventures in Elm: Question Your Principles
Thursday 17:05 - 17:50
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Design principles

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What do you get when you combine strict functional programming with heavy user interaction?

Challenges, and unexpected freedoms.

Elm is a purely functional language for the browser. It compiles to JavaScript -- after enforcing immutability, types, semantic versioning, and tight boundaries for user and server interactions. Working within these restrictions, I find my programming principles turned upside down. Small components? who needs them. Global state? no problem. New principles emerge instead: events, reproducibility, kindness in times of error. This session gives an overview of Elm, then focuses on the Elm Architecture: how it overturns what is essential in object-oriented and even backend functional programming.


Jessica Kerr "speaks with the authority of an experienced software engineer and the infectious enthusiasm of a 10-year-old telling you about magic." After ten years in Java she discovered the big wider world of programming through F#, Scala, Clojure, and now Elm. She speaks about functional programming, property-based testing, and juggling complexity. In real life, she works on the data pipeline at Stripe and raises two daughters in St. Louis, MO. Find her @jessitron or

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