Monica McGuigan

Junior Developer starting out in the world of FP

Monica is a junior Scala developer at JP Morgan, working in a team that aims to improve understanding of the banks’ data and data models.

She began her programming journey using C#, then onto a mixture of C++, JavaScript and TypeScript throughout her undergraduate Physics degree. She now writes Scala full-time in her current position. 

Monica is also passionate about encouraging those who do not have a Computer Science background into software development roles, as she has been able to apply her transferable problem-solving skills from a scientific discipline to programming and is enjoying it!


For the beginners, I’d like for them to feel less intimidated diving into learning a functional language like Scala, through using the strategies which helped my learning this past year.

And for the more experienced senior developers, how can they help to make their juniors’ FP learning journey smoother? I’d like to share how my senior colleagues did this for me.


This talk is intended to appeal to developers of all experience.


Navigating the world of functional programming as a beginner can feel quite daunting and intimidating. Over a year ago, I was thrown into the deep end of learning Scala.

I started my FP journey as a junior developer at a bank, after graduating with a degree in Physics. So, not only did I have the challenge of learning functional Scala from scratch, but I also had to apply these concepts to a domain I had no prior knowledge of.

Initially, I experienced a lot of confusion and frustration, having come from an OOP background. However, with the help of senior engineers on my team, I learned both Scala and how to think functionally, quickly and effectively enough to start contributing production-level code in my first few months.

Hopefully, after listening to this talk, other newcomers will feel less alone and more optimistic about diving into the exciting world of FP, and experienced developers will understand how to best help their juniors learn and grow.