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Embracing Scala and the Typesafe Platform

By Thomas Lockney | Posted on December 17, 2013

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We’ve made no secret of the fact that we are fans of Scala here at Janrain, organizing our own internal study groups, sponsoring the first PNWScala conference, and hosting the monthly PDXScala users’ group, among other things. We’ve been using Scala here to some degree for a few years now. This initially began as an effort to accelerate the capabilities and scalability of our social login and sharing platform. But the last year has seen several new components of our user management platform being built on top of Scala. This has been a very conscious choice that we made after realizing that we needed to simplify our software stack and nurture in-house expertise as our organization grew from a couple distinct products into a cohesive platform.

We knew that a key to success as we continue to grow and build new features would be the ability to move quickly. But speed should never be a goal without considering stability and reliability. We already had Scala in use, but Java, Haskell, and Ruby have also played key parts in our stack. All of these are solid tools, but we knew that Scala would give us the agility that is commonly attributed to dynamic languages such as Ruby, while also bring the reliability of Java, and the safety of Haskell. A number of engineers on our team have had past experience with Scala, but we’ve seen across the diverse range of backgrounds of our engineers that the majority of them are able to pick the language up quickly and be productive in a remarkably short period of time. Of course, nurturing a culture that supports learning and knowledge sharing goes a long way.

We’re rolling out a bunch of new capabilities and services this coming year and the majority of these systems are powered by Scala. Today we’re happy to be releasing a case study we’ve worked on with Typesafe, the company that backs the development and support for Scala. In it, you can read about how we’re streamlining our releases and building scalable and reliable systems to provide our customers and partners with the best service available. And if you’re interested in being part of what we’re doing here, don’t forget that we are always looking for exceptional talent.

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