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Teaching Reactive Programming

Arie van Deursen

One of the new courses at the TU Delft MSc Computer Science in 2012 was on reactive programming. The students loved this course, and I had a great time too. What was so good about it?

Format
The course was taught by Erik Meijer, creator of the .NET reactive extensions framework Rx. Erik works at Microsoft, Redmond, and has a part time appointment at TU Delft. The lectures thus were packed in two weeks, followed by several student presentations over Skype after Erik had returned to Redmond.

Book: Programming Reactive Extensions and LINQ

Content
The course content included big data, asynchronous operations on observable collections, push versus pull, Pip Coburn’s change function, the role of abstraction, monads, LINQ, coSQL, event processing, schedulers, and the reactive extensions architecture. Course material included Programming Reactive Extensions and LINQ by Jesse Liberty and Paul Betts.

Labwork
Students subsequently used this understanding of reactive programming to…

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