Programming Across Paradigms

What’s in a programming paradigm? How did the major paradigms come to be, and why? Once we’ve sworn our love to one paradigm, does a program written under any other still smell as sweet? Can functional programmers learn anything from the object-oriented paradigm, or vice versa?

In this talk, we’ll try to understand what we mean (and don’t mean) when we talk about programming paradigms, and the connection (or lack thereof) between the code we write and the paradigm we use. We’ll take a closer look at three influential paradigms – imperative, object-oriented, and functional programming – and try to understand each in terms of its historical context and relationship to other paradigms. In doing so, we’ll see that the dividing lines between these paradigms may not always be as clear as we tend to assume, and that “competing” paradigms may have more in common than we often acknowledge. Whether code newbies or seasoned developers, we might walk away with a slight shift in our perspective on the paradigms we code in, giving us not only deeper insights into our favorite (or least favorite) programming worldviews, but also higher-level lessons for how to craft and understand our programs under any paradigm.

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