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Programming in Scala > Foreword - Pg. xxxvii

Foreword I'm not sure where I first came across the Scala language. Maybe on a fo- rum for programming language enthusiasts such as Lambda the Ultimate, or maybe in more pedestrian quarters: Reddit, or the like. Although I was intrigued at first blush, I owe my deeper exploration and enthusiasm for the language to two individuals: David Pollak, creator of the Lift web frame- work, and Steve Jenson, a former colleague at Twitter and generally brilliant programmer. Following David and Steve, I arrived to Scala in the late-middle stage of the language's history to date. By 2008, Scala had spent five years evolving from its initial release, and had formed around it a tight-knit community of academics, tinkerers, and even a few consultants. The mailing lists were full of spirited debates, announcements of exciting libraries, and a general camaraderie and shared joy for seeing what this powerful new tool could do. What Scala lacked, at that point, was a collection of success stories around major production deployments. The decision to use Scala at Twitter, where I then worked, was not an easy one to make. Our infrastructure was buckling under the weight of extreme growth. Picking a relative unknown as our language of choice for building the high-performance distributed systems that would keep our fledgling service alive was risky. Still, the benefits that Scala offered were (and are) compelling, and our engineers were quickly able to produce proto- types that proved out the language's effectiveness. In the intervening time, I've seen a heartening number of companies large and small adopting Scala. In that time, too, the question of Scala's complex- ity has been raised. From the outside, Scala's many features might appear to be a kind of complexity. To understand Scala, though, is to understand its goal of being a scalable language. You can be writing real-world code in Scala in an afternoon. As your understanding of the language and, indeed, xxxvii