Another year of Haskell Hacking in the Google Zurich Office

Friday, September 30, 2016

For the fourth time, the Google Open Source Programs Office have co-sponsored a three-day hackathon for Haskell, an open source functional programming language. Gleb Peregud from Google’s Zurich office talks more about the event below.

On the weekend of July 22nd, 126 Haskell enthusiasts got together for another installment of ZuriHac, a yearly open source Haskell hackathon held in Zurich, Switzerland, and like the last two years it took place at Google Zurich.

Participants could either hack uninterrupted in the main room or listen to a number of presentations in the tech talk room. Each day was kicked off with a keynote — Bas van Dijk talked about the use of functional programming at LumiGuide (slides), Edward Kmett about monad homomorphisms, and Andres Löh about generic-sop, a new approach to generic programming. All three talks drew a full room of interested listeners.

We also prepared two codelabs for Haskell beginners, and rallied 28 dedicated volunteers to serve as mentors (thank you all!) so that there was always someone to ask for help.

Aside from keynotes, there were five other talks: an experience report on parallelizing and distributing scientific computations (slides), an overview of a language to program FPGAs called CλaSH, an interactive tour through low-level pieces of the GHC Haskell compiler, an introduction to web programming using Spock (slides) and a talk on revamping the build system of GHC (slides).

Spontaneous mini-lectures attract smaller crowds.
As is traditional, after a full Saturday of hacking, we went out to barbecue down by the Zurich lake.

We were lucky that weather forecast was mistaken about a looming thunderstorm!
We managed to beat last year's record, and welcomed 126 attendees. We hope to have even more participants next year - our goal is to host 150 hackers in 2017. See you in a year!

By Gleb Peregud, Site Reliability Engineer