Rencontre avec Daniela Sfregola, tech-lead et experte Scala

Coup de coeur, Les portraits

L’an dernier j’ai eu l’occasion de faire partie de l’équipe du CFP de ScalaIO. C’est là que j’ai eu l’occasion de rencontrer Daniela Sfregola, tech-lead et développeuse Scala basée à Londres, d’origine italienne. Elle est très active dans la communauté Scala et intervient régulièrement autour des sujets tels que Property Based Testing ou Cats.

Vous pouvez  suivre Daniela sur @danielasfregola et la lire dans son blog.


Daniela, can you present yourself ?

My name is Daniela Sfregola and I am a geek :). I am currently based in the UK, I am a freelancer during the day, a blogger, open source contributor and public speaker during the night. These days I am really into Scala, so I tend to focus my talks and contributes to it.

Scalar, vidéo 11: Random Data Generation with ScalaCheck

How did an italien land to the UK ? Is it challenging for you the culture change in your daily job ?

When I was at University, I had the pleasure to take part in the Erasmus program and I spent 6 months as a student at Queen Mary, University of London. I loved it! And decided to come to London back once I finished my studies. London is a multicultural city, so I have never felt a foreigner as I work with people all over the world.

I see you are very involved on Scala. Why Scala ?

I started my career as a Java Developer, but after a few year, I needed to try something new. At the time, I think it was 2012,  Martin Odersky was teaching a Coursera course to introduce Scala and Functional Programming. A colleague of mine suggested it to me….and it was love at first sight.
Scala was not only a lot more concise than Java, but the feature that I like the most is that it was combining two approaches completely different: Object Oriented Programming and Functional Programming. The language is so flexible that is able to evolve with the maturity of the developer, so it is perfect to experiment and try new patterns or programming styles.

 Writing code is like painting: there isn’t only one way of doing it and it can be really creative and rewarding

What is the most fancy aspect of being a tech lead ?

Having a complete view of the project and being involved in the discussions of where the project would go is definitively a big part of it. Also, I really enjoy advising my teammates on technical decisions: it’s great to have constructive discussions on why a solution could be better than another and it makes everyone learn from the others and make us better tech experts.

And the least ?

Every day you need to be on top of your game. You need to keep track of everything that is going on the project, having a view of the progress that has been done, the issues….and be able to give good advice! If things go wrong, it’s on you. It can be tough, but every day you learn a lot, both from your successes and failures!

Easy and Efficient Data Validation with Cats

People need to see that we are not all the same

How did you become an open-source contributor ?

I believe that the best way to learn how to code is to…just code! I started with playing with new technologies and write articles on the things that I liked or didn’t like together with some code on GitHub. A few people really liked the code asking me to publish it in libraries. Why not! …so I did it :D.
It’s a great experience, sometimes challenging, but putting your code out there and asking people to review it is a great way of getting feedback on how you write code. Also, contributing to other projects allows to see and learn how other people structure and reason about their code. It’s a win-win for everybody: you learn something new and the project maintainer has new features/fixes for the whole community!

Contributing to other projects allows to see and learn how other people structure and reason about their code

How and why did you start public speaking ?

A friend of mine is a Mozilla Evangelist and he is regularly speaking at many conferences. He convinced that I could be great, he helped me overcome lots of my fears and doubts. It’s a lot of work to produce good content for a talk, but it is definitively worth it due thanks to all the good exposure it gets you. Also, in particular, if you are representative of a diversity group is even more important: people need to see that we are not all the same, that you can indeed do this job no matter what your gender or ethnic background.

Do you wish to share any thoughts for women already in the tech industry but also for those who might be wondering if there is a place for them ?

Being in tech can be overwhelming as you always need to keep learning and experimenting with new technologies. Things change sooo quickly! However is also an amazing sector to be in. Writing code is like painting: there isn’t only one way of doing it and it can be really creative and rewarding.

Vous pouvez  suivre Daniela sur @danielasfregola et la lire dans son blog.

Thank you Daniela very much !

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Software Engineer working at RedHat, Infinispan Team, Java and Scala Developer, Open-source enthusiast, drama and dance passionate. Duchess France, Paris MUG

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