Why You Must Learn Scala Programming Language to Boost Your Career

Why You Must Learn Scala Programming Language to Boost Your Career | Coding | Emeritus

Scalability is one of the most challenging and essential aspects of programming. It is the ability of a language to efficiently manage an increase or decrease in workload or write large programs with ease. Scalability makes the system more agile, reduces maintenance costs, and provides a better user experience. As a result, developers prefer scalable programming languages. Scala is one such popular scalable programming language used by platforms such as Netflix and Twitter. Let’s learn exactly what Scala programming language is, what its salient features are and why it is popular.

What is the Scala Programming Language Used for?

Scala (short for scalable) programming language is a general-purpose and scalable computer programming language. It is described as a high-level programming language that comprises the two most popular programming approaches: object-oriented and functional. The following are some of the use cases of Scala:

  • Scala runs on Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and is widely used to build data-intensive, distributed applications. What that means is that Scala can be used to build mobile or web applications and big data systems.
  • Scala is used in building modular, scalable, and fast software.
  • It is most commonly used by data engineers along with Apache Spark to process large amounts of data smoothly and efficiently.
  • Since Scala runs on JVM, Java and Scala stacks are seamlessly integrated. This allows developers to use the features of both languages simultaneously.
  • It is also used to create software for data pipelines, video transcoding systems, real-time information processing, and big data projects. 

Why Should You Learn Scala Programming Language?

As a software professional, learning Scala can help you in the following ways:

Reduce Errors and Increase Efficiency

If you use dynamic languages like Python, you know the challenge of finding errors after you run the program. It requires significant effort and time to make changes to the code and run it again. Learning Scala can help you tackle this issue. It is a statically typed language which means you can find and rectify the errors during compilation, thus offering more efficiency.

Advance Your Career

Due to its high scalability, Scala programming language is used for managing websites of companies that receive a lot of traffic like Twitter, Netflix, and LinkedIn. Therefore, if you wish to work as a developer or programmer at top companies that process large amounts of data, it is essential to learn Scala.

Work in Big Data Space

As a Java developer or a data engineer, you work, or are planning to work, in the big data space, knowledge of Scala is highly beneficial. It has multiple libraries—Apache Spark, Apache Kafka, Apache Flink, ScalaNLP, PredictionIO, and DeepLearning.Scala—that is important for machine learning and big data software development.

ALSO READ: What is Kafka and How Does it Boost Streaming Platforms?

Features of Scala Programming Language

The most significant features of Scala programming language are:

  • It is referred to as a multi-paradigm language as it combines the features of object-oriented and functional languages.
  • Scala has built-in support for pattern matching that allows for writing more expressive and elegant codes.
  • It also comprises built-in support for case classes that allow developers to define algebraic data types and pattern matching on them.
  • One of the most interesting features of Scala is lazy evaluation or call-by-need. These features allow developers to postpone the execution of a program.

The Advantages of Scala Programming Language

Here are some of the most prominent benefits of Scala programming language:

1. Interoperability with Java

Scala is fully compatible with Java. It runs on JVM and uses Java libraries and frameworks. This provides more libraries and tools for Scala developers.

2. Concise and Expressive Syntax

It has a concise and expressive syntax that allows developers to write code that is both easy to read and understand.

3. Strong Static Type System

It has a strong static type system. This means it helps reduce or prevent common programming errors during code compilation.

The Disadvantages of Scala Programming Language

1. Complex Learning

As a complex language, it has a more difficult learning curve than some other programming languages, especially if you are not familiar with functional programming concepts.

2. Limited Tools

Scala has a vast number of libraries and frameworks. However, it has limited tools in comparison to other programming languages, making it difficult to find and use the right tools for a particular task.

3. Low Compatibility

It is a relatively new language and is oftentimes not compatible when working with other systems or libraries.

Scala Programming Language Example

Here is how you can print “Hello World” using Scala programming language:

object HelloWorld {
def main(args: Array[String]) {
println(“Hello world!”)
}
}

To execute this program, you need to store this file as “HelloWorld.scala” and run the above-given commands to print “Hello World”.

How to Learn Scala Programming Language

Here is a step-by-step process on how to learn the basics of Scala programming language:

1st Step: If you are a beginner, you must learn the basics of programming languages, especially Java, before you work on Scala. You should also have knowledge of both object-oriented and functional programming.

2nd Step: Once you are familiar with the fundamentals of programming, learn the Scala syntax and how to define variables or functions. Go through the Tour of Scala to learn its basics. 

3rd Step: You can explore Scala libraries like Akka and Play and use predefined codes to create applications on Scala.

4th Step: Also, you can join the Scala learning community on discord server to connect with other Scala developers and ask queries.

5th Step: Last but not the least, you need to run codes and start with building basic applications using Scala. Use Scastie to run Scala codes on your browser.

Scala vs Python

Both Scala and Python are high-level programming languages with a concise syntax. However, these languages have several different features such as:

1. Language Type

Scala programming language is statically typed and requires you to specify the types of variables and objects. Python is a dynamically typed programming language and there is no need to specify objects.

2. Performance

Scala is a scalable language with access to Java libraries. Hence it is better than Python in terms of scalability and efficiency.

3. Concurrency

Scala supports better concurrency and multithreading, thus allowing big data ecosystems to be integrated easily. Python, on the other hand, does not support a high level of concurrency and is not suitable for big data systems.

Scala vs Java

Before you integrate Scala and Java features, it is essential to understand the difference between the two languages. These include:

1. Syntax

Scala has a concise syntax and does not have boilerplate codes (codes that can be used at multiple locations without making any variations). It requires less coding in comparison to Java programs.

2. Language Type

Java is a dynamically-typed language in which errors are checked during run-time. Scala programming language is statically typed which means the code errors are checked during compilation.

3. Lazy Evaluation

Scala has an in-built lazy evaluation feature which Java does not.

4. Operator Overloading

The operator overloading feature in Scala allows programmers to create new operators whenever required. However, Java does not support this feature.

Scala is ranked among the top 10 highest programming languages in 2022, and thus is becoming essential for professionals in this field. However, Scala is also a complex language and you’ll need advanced skills as well as in-depth knowledge of programming languages and coding to learn Scala. Emeritus’ online coding courses can help you learn all about the Scala programming language. Explore them to become an expert.

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 Scala programming language

About the Author

Content Writer, Emeritus Blog
Sanmit is unraveling the mysteries of Literature and Gender Studies by day and creating digital content for startups by night. With accolades and publications that span continents, he's the reliable literary guide you want on your team. When he's not weaving words, you'll find him lost in the realms of music, cinema, and the boundless world of books.
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