Best way to learn Scala
Scala is a general-purpose programming language, meaning you can use it to make different types of projects in different fields.
It is popularly used for web development, big data processing, distributed computing, machine learning, text processing, and more.
Scala runs on the JVM, so Java and Scala stacks can be freely mixed for totally seamless integration.
Scala is a high-paying programming language and that is why a good number of developers want to learn it.
There are some best ways you can follow to learn Scala effectively and quickly. I have outlined the best ways in this article.
These are the guides I use whenever I want to learn a new technology or programming language.
If you follow these guides and act on what I have highlighted, you will be able to work with Scala in no time.
Here are the best ways to learn Scala
CHOOSE YOUR PATH
If you want to learn Scala effectively, you must first determine what you want to use Scala for.
Scala being a general-purpose programming language means it can be used for more than one purpose.
Scala can be used for web development, big data processing, machine learning, text processing, building streaming services, and more.
Although the basics are going to be the same for all these fields, it is important to choose a field that you are going to focus on.
If you want to use Scala for Web Development, then you need to understand the fundamentals of Scala and move to frameworks like Play Framework, Scalatra, or Lift.
If you want to use Scala for machine learning, then you need the basics of Scala and a good understanding of libraries like Chalk, Spark NLP, and many others.
Once you have a defined path, it becomes easy to learn Scala because you will only focus on the technologies and libraries related to your field.
FREE SCALA TUTORIALS
Once you have chosen the path you want to take, you can learn more by watching free tutorials online.
For example, if you want to use Scala for web development, you can focus on watching tutorials on web development with Scala.
There are many platforms and channels that offer amazing free Scala tutorials. YouTube is the best platform to find free Scala tutorials.
Channels like FreeCodeCamp, Telusko, Programming Knowledge, Derek Banas, and many others offer free tutorials on Scala and many other programming languages.
Once you familiarize yourself with the fundamental of Scala programming through free tutorials, it’s time to practice what you have learned.
Practice is the best way to gain a deep understanding of Scala. Practice, practice, practice, and practice. This is the best way to learn any technology or programming language.
The more you practice, the more you will know how much progress you are making. You will not learn Scala by simply watching others and moving on.
You need to work with the language yourself, only then will you be able to know whether you are making progress or not.
I cannot say this enough, practice, practice, practice, and practice.
BUILD SCALA PROJECTS
Building projects is the best way to practice working with Scala.
When you have chosen your path and have learned the basics, use your knowledge to build simple projects, then keep working on them to cement your understanding.
In the process of building projects, you will come up against many challenges and bugs.
And in the process of solving these challenges, you will gain valuable problem-solving skills that will help you beyond those Scala projects.
TAKE ONLINE SCALA COURSES
As you build projects, you can take a step further and take an online course or a Bootcamp.
These online courses especially those offered by big companies like Udacity, or Coursera will help you gain a unique understanding of industry standards.
You can find many amazing Scala courses for Web Development, big data processing, distributed applications, and more on Coursera.
JOIN ONLINE SCALA COMMUNITIES
Another best way to learn Scala is to join online Scala communities. These can be Facebook Groups, forums, subreddits, or platforms like Stack Overflow and GitHub.
Online communities are important to help you keep up with recent development in your field. They can also help you when you get stuck.
TAKE SCALA CHALLENGES AND TESTS
Once you have a certain level of understanding of Scala, it is easy to get comfortable.
But you must challenge yourself to work on more advanced concepts than those that you are already comfortable with.
You can begin to work on data structures and algorithms, you can also participate in online challenges, hackathons, and tests.
These challenges will help you to develop different ways of approaching and solving problems.
You can find different types of challenges and Hackathons in different fields on Devpost.
Devpost is a home of hackathons, by participating in these hackathons, you can win amazing prizes and open up many windows of opportunities.
READ SCALA BOOKS
Reading Scala and programming books is another best way to learn Scala.
In my article Should Programmers Read Books, I highlighted the best kinds of books that programmers should read.
Reading books has many great benefits for programmers. It will help you to increase your level of focus and engage your brain in great mental exercise.
IS SCALA EASY TO LEARN
Scala is generally easy to learn. In my experience, I find it more concise and less verbose than programming languages like Java.
If you have worked with Java, C#, or Kotlin before, you will find Scala much easier to work with.
Scala is relatively easy to pick up even for complete beginners, it has a slightly lower learning curve compared to a language like Java.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO LEARN SCALA
If you work hard and consistently, you will be able to learn Scala and build small projects within 2 – 3 months.
Many Scala courses on Coursera take between 2 – 6 months to complete depending on the specialization.
For example, a Functional Programming in Scala Course on Coursera takes 3 – 6 months to finish for intermediate level.
This is a general guide on how long it can take you to learn Scala, it may take less time if you devote a lot of time to learning.
Scala is a great language to learn, many Scala developers fetch higher salaries than other developers.
To learn Scala effectively, make sure to practice and build projects, this will help you to quickly grasp the ins and outs of Scala.
You should also challenge yourself to learn advanced concepts that you are not comfortable with.