In my next academic year at university, I have the option to take a course in Advanced Functional Programming. A basic description of the course is this:

"You’ll focus on a number of more advanced functional programming topics such as: programming with effects; reasoning about programs; control flow; advanced libraries; improving efficiency; type systems; and functional pearls."

Therefore I'd like to know if functional programming is useful in Data Science. If so, why it is useful, and by extension, whether this course will ultimately be useful in the pursuit of becoming a Data Scientist.


One reason why functional programming could be useful for data science is that it lends itself more easily to parallel and distributed programming, e.g. the popular frameworks Apache Spark for cluster computing and Apache Kafka for stream-processing are both written in Scala (and Java).

Other than that "functional programming" as a skill is not directly related to data science. It's a tool that may facilitate some practicalities of data science and therefore more relevant for the "data engineering" aspect of data science.

It's useful but probably not necessary. It depends on your interests.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.