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Stewart Stewart: Puzzles and Problem Solving with Scala Tooling


Stewart Stewart is a puzzle enthusiast, software engineer, hobby collector, bookworm, and wanderer with a love for intellectual challenges and the beauty of well-crafted software. He has shared his insights on intertwining puzzles with programming at this conference twice before, focusing on logic puzzles with relational programming and twisty puzzles with FP and group theory.


He absolutely loves meeting people at conferences. Come say "Hi" anytime. Ask him about books, share a puzzle, or join in his after-conference plans for the evening!


If you miss him at the conference, you might occasionally find him live-streaming a live-coding session in Scala on Twitch or YouTube as stewSquared. Maybe you can back-seat or pair with him?


Puzzles and Problem Solving with Scala Tooling.

Over the past year or two, I've spent hundreds of hours solving programming puzzles and recording my experiences. Sometimes it's just me against the clock, but other times there's the pressure of a live audience. Reviewing all this footage has made my mistakes painfully obvious. This is a report of my learnings.


More specifically, I'll share my experiences using Scala 3 with Metals Worksheets for problem solving. Worksheets are a neat tool that offer real-time feedback, which can be pretty handy when you're in the middle of a puzzle. I'll explain how this setup allows me to to easily adapt and test my approach in a way that makes my thought process feel more tangible. While this isn't the same as day-to-day software engineering, I'll still share my thoughts on how this applies to everyday productivity.


As a bit of a bonus, in the months leading up to the conference, I'm going to try out a couple of AI coding assistants, namely GitHub's Copilot X and SourceGraph's Cody. What's the best ways to use these tools? In what areas do you end up merely fighting against them?

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