The Y-Combinator

Jim Weirich, of Neo gave a really nice talk on The Y-Combinator at RubyConf2012. Given the venue, the examples are, of course, in Ruby but you should have no difficulty following them: I know no Ruby at all but was able to understand the code easily. The harder part is following some of the ideas—especially the functional refactorings—that may be unfamiliar to you.

Not to worry, Weirich has a series of posts based on the talk that covers the same material so you can go over it at a slower pace after you watch the talk to fill in anything you missed. Currently only two of the three posts are up but they cover the background material that you need to understand the rest of the talk. The posts are very lucid and stand on their own well.

If you've ever wondered what the Y-Combinator is (other than an angel investor) and what it's used for, this talk is an excellent introduction. Weirich is an engaging and entertaining speaker and the material is very interesting. Again, don't be scared away by Ruby: the examples are easy to follow.

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