Types make languages cool

Speaker: Julin S


Type: Short talk

Room: Venue 3

Time: Nov 13 (Sun): 15:30

Duration: 0:20

  • Intended audience: Anyone who has ever written a computer program/script.
  • Takeaway: A better understanding of the need and use of types in programming languages.

Anyone who has written a computer program must have come across types: int, bool, string, etc. What do they add to the programming language that we use? After all, type errors can sometimes be quite annoying (till we find what caused them, that is). People who have tried a language where types appear to be less rigid (eg: Python) and a language which seems less compromising on the types (eg: C) can really tell the difference. But why exactly do programming languages bother to have types? How does it make the language better?

I try to explain the benefits of having a well designed type system with the help of a few examples. About how types can help us avoid shooting ourselves in the foot, ending with some closing thoughts about the use of type for even more interesting things like formal verification of programs.