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Scala at Duolingo with Andre Kenji Horie

Doulingo is a language learning platform with over 200 million users.  On a daily basis millions of users receive customized language lessons targeted specifically to them.  These lessons are generated by a system called the session generator.

In this episode, Andre talks about the reasons for the rewrite, what drove them to move to scala and the experience of moving from one technology stack to another.

Podcast Transcript

“So I was actually more fascinated that Scala is like a modern language. It has so many nice things that we don’t have in Python and Java that kind of outweighs the pain points. “ – Andre Kenji Horie 

“I mean, it’s that sort of thing that after working with a Python a lot of time you just become so used to that, that whenever you have something nice, you’re like, “Oh, that’s nice.” – Andre Kenji Horie 

“There are caveats, it’s slower to write a piece of code, but then the amount of effort you have to maintain that code in your test code is a lot lower in Scala, so for me, in the long run, Scala is just a faster language than Python.” – Andre Kenji Horie 

Links:

Rewriting Doulingo’s Engine in Scala

Jobs at DouLingo

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Scala at Duolingo with Andre Kenji Horie