Scala Contributors Summit(s)

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Darja Jovanovic

As the 3rd Contributors Summit approaches at in Kraków, Poland on the 8th of October, thanks to Scala Center and VirtusLab collaboration, we figured it is high time to gather our notes and write a proper blog on this topic.

What is the Scala Contributors Summit?

Scala Contributors Summit is an event that brings together active contributors, library authors, maintainers, and Scala User Group/Conference organisers for a day-long in-person event to discuss and exchange their experiences about all things Scala.

The goal of the event is to identify the pain points that prevent the Scala ecosystem from growing in a sustainable way, and to propose solutions to them. What is expected from participants?

Participants are not expected to prepare anything before the event. They are only expected to contribute their thoughts and opinions in the discussions. The facilitators will be responsible for writing notes and summarizing the discussions, ideally, after the end of the day.


The idea is simple: let’s bring people together to discuss common issues in person. Not only that in-person discussions are more efficient, less time consuming, and more impactful but they allow the opportunity of developing personal relationships, building empathy and trust, that online communication cannot provide. And let’s face it - it’s fun to spend time with peers, speaking about things we love doing (o:

Ideal time & place: colocating the Summit with a big conference that attracts many contributors is a natural fit, and so the first Contributors Summit took place a day after ScalaDays 2018 closed at Zalando offices in Berlin, initiated by Heather Miller, the Scala Center director at the time.

We recognise: most of Scala contributors are investing their free time and resources to develop a better OS ecosystem, therefore, as a small token, we find sponsors to support this event to be opened & free for the participants on the day.

If you are interested more about broader context: check out most recent podcast on this topic “Open Source Health and Diversity with Heather C Miller”

Brief history

Scala Days Berlin, 18th May 2018, all day, hosted and sponsored by Zalando

Around 50 Scala library contributors, authors, and maintainers gathered and discussed various topics, such as the upcoming changes in Scala 3, improvements to the documentation and the website, the future of Scala tooling for both OSS developers and big companies, proposals to better collaborate online and welcome more contributors, etc. Participants shared with us that they learned a lot from each other, how helpful it was to be present in person and meet many of their colleagues, and exchange experience.

No specific program was proposed. Instead, topics and groups were formed on the spot: anyone could propose a topic and interested participants would join for discussion.

Significant result: Scala Improvement Process took place during the Contributors Summit, and public was for the first time present during the meeting in person. In this particular meeting the SIP committee agreed on approaching Scala 3 changes, dividing worklad in batches as well as giving a month per batch to collect community’s input. For more on this, please read the SIP minutes.

Otherwise in this edition, even though some were taking notes, not all were collected, therefore will not be published here. (If you have notes, please share them with us [email protected])

Scala Days EPFL Lausanne, 10th June 2019, all day, sponsored by VirtusLab

Great feedback from the Berlin edition, we decided to keep the tradition and organised it a day before, kick-starting the 10th Anniversary of the Scala Days conference in Lausanne, June 2019. This time, there were over 60 participants that were discussing, amongst other:

Topic Questions
Growing community What are the pain points for people learning Scala?
Data science How do we improve Scala for data scientists and data processing applications?
Scala 3 What are the blockers to migrate to Scala 3?
Open source How do we build an even richer ecosystem of open source Scala libraries and tools?
Enterprise What lessons can we learn from large organizations that have adopted Scala?
Ecosystem metrics What measurements can we use to evaluate if Scala is evolving in the right direction?

For more details, we invite you to read some notes taken during the discussions, here

Next Summits

ScalaSphere Kraków, 8th October 2019

Thanks to a big push and the tireless enthusiasm of the VirtusLab crew, we are happy to invite you to participate in the 3rd edition of this great event, register here. Conditions: a) you are in Kraków (or in the area) on the 8th of October 2019 b) have a day to spare c) you are contributing/maintaining/an author of a Scala library, Scala User Group/Conference organiser, or simply would like to contribute to these discussions, be present, take notes…

ScalaDays 2020 and beyond

We are committed to keeping the discussions going! ScalaDays was a great match, but other conferences can organise it too (as ScalaSphere has) - we’d be happy to help you set it up, contact us: [email protected].