10 Years of Scala

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Martin Odersky


The first release of Scala happened ten years ago on January 20th.

Looking back I am stunned how we could have taken an experimental research language and turned it into a tool for everyday programming that’s used by hundreds of thousands of developers. This is even more surprising in that no big company or organization backed Scala. Instead it was a grassroots movement with many super smart and motivated contributors. They are far too numerous to be all listed here, but I nevertheless want to thank some of the contributors by name who influenced the trajectory of Scala in a crucial way. In particular, there were:

  • The early EPFL contributors around Matthias Zenger, Michel Schinz, Philippe Altherr.
  • The second wave of EPFL contributors, including Iulian Dragos, Philipp Haller, Lukas Rytz, Tiark Rompf, Stéphane Micheloud, Burak Emir, Vincent Cremet, Ingo Meier, Nikolay Mihaylov, Lex Spoon, Antonio Cunei, Sean McDermid, Erik Stenman.
  • Early users who told the world about it: John Pretty, Miles Sabin, David Pollak, Dick Wall, Bill Venners, David McIver, Josh Suereth, Jonas Bonér, Viktor Klang, James Iry, Daniel Sobral and many others.
  • Phil Bagwell, who designed our core collection structures, and was a great spokesperson for the community.
  • Paul Phillips, who put in amazing work over many years.
  • The many active open-source committers, including Simon Ochsenreither, Denys Shabalin, Pavel Pavlov, Dominik Gruntz, Rex Kerr.
  • The Typesafe Scala team: Adriaan Moors, Jason Zaugg, Greg Kossakowski.
  • The people working hard on giving us good tooling: Scala IDE, IntelliJ, NetBeans, SBT, Ensime.
  • Lalit Pant, for making Scala accessible to children and Shadaj Laddad for showing how much fun Scala can be.
  • The people who contributed to our massive open online courses: Heather Miller, Aleksandar Prokopec, Vojin Jovanovic, Lukas Rytz, Nada Amin, Tobias Schlatter, Roland Kuhn, Erik Meijer.
  • The other people who take Scala forward at EPFL: Hubert Plocinicak, Eugene Burmako, Manohar Jonalagedda, Vlad Ureche, Sandro Stucki, Miguel Garcia, Christopher Vogt.
  • The vibrant Scala.js team around Sébastien Doeraene and Haoyi Li.
  • The authors of all the Scala books.
  • The people writing great open-source libraries using Scala and contributing them back to the public.

Drawing up this list, I am humbled by the amount of hard work people have put in to make Scala what it is. I am sure I have forgotten many others whose contributions were equally crucial. A big thank you to you all!

Now, looking at the next ten years, I believe we have some truly exciting times ahead. I’ll write about some of the opportunities and challenges that I see in another post.