John McCarthy (Inventor of Lisp) says "PROGRAMMING, you're doing it completely wrong!"
"The tools we use have a profound (and devious!) influence on our thinking habits, and, therefore, on our thinking abilities."
- Edsger Dijkstra

"The problem with object-oriented languages is the implicit environment that they carry around with them. You wanted a banana but what you got was a gorilla holding the banana and the entire jungle." 
Joe Armstrong

"...any new class is itself an island; unusable by any existing code written by anyone, anywhere. So consider throwing the baby out with the bath water."- Rich Hickey
"Lisp has jokingly been called 'the most intelligent way to misuse a computer'. I think that description is a great compliment because it transmits the full flavor of liberation: it has assisted a number of our most gifted fellow humans in thinking previously impossible thoughts."
- Edsger Dijkstra

Join the renaissance!

There are dozens of functional programming languages, and they can be as different from each other as Ruby and Cobol; however as a family they tend to:
Emphasise the application and composition of functions, over the imperative mutation of state. Consequently functional programs are shorter and easier to reason about.

Prefer pure values over mutable objects. Values never change, so programs using values are safer and easier to reason about.

Treat functions as first-class values
, allowing them to be passed as arguments and returned from functions. Higher order functions such as these enable powerful new abstractions.
Focus on the primacy of data, rather than hiding it behind unwieldly classes.

Manage side effects more cleanly meaning less state and fewer bugs.  

Be thread safe by default, without having to resort to locks which fail to compose.

Be a proving ground for awesome features
. Garbage Collection, Closures, Continuations, Monads, Expression orientation, Lexical Scope, and Software Transactional Memories all made it into functional languages years before they were mainstream.  What are you still missing?
Functional programming is not only on the cutting edge of computer science research, but it's being adopted by a leaner generation of startups who are innovating faster than their competitors.

A new generation of functional languages like F#Scala and Clojure, are giving developers the ability to run functional languages on the runtime environment of their choice (.Net, JVM or Javascript), whilst traditional functional languages like Haskell, Scheme, Erlang and O-Caml continue to develop the state of the art in type systems, language features, compilers, and fault tolerant systems.

Come to a meeting

The Lambda Lounge is proud to be one of @madlabuk's regular groups.

They provide us and others with a vibrant community space to make interesting stuff.  They're a place for geeks, artists, designers, illustrators, hackers, functional programmerstinkerers, innovators and idle dreamers.
They're also an autonomous R&D laboratory and a release valve for Manchester's creative communities.  But most of all, they're really cool friends!

We meet regularly, for talks and practical sessions.  Meetings are usually on the third Monday of the month at 7pm, though for practical reasons this is not always possible.  So it is best to check here and keep an eye on our Google Group for announcements.


This Monday at 7pm Chi-chi Ekweozor is giving a talk on the soft real-time aspects of Elixir/Phoenix and its web sockets implementation (aka Phoenix channels) - which was the main draw for building a real-time Q&A service with it over at And, yes, there will be a live demo!
This Monday at 7pm Alex Weaver is giving a talk on deep learning for functional programmers.
Deep learning has improved on the state of the art in several fields of machine learning, and is beginning to be used in commercial settings. This talk aims to provide a grounding in the core concepts of the topic, explore parallels with functional programming and introduce some promising recent research.
This Monday at 7pm we're pleased to announce we have another talk by Lee Kitching, this time on Property Based Testing a Regex Processor in F# with FsCheck.

Traditional unit testing requires the programmer to manually generate test cases, which are highly specific but give poor coverage of the range of possible inputs.

Property-based testing is used to specify the behaviour of programs and assert the adherence of the implementation to the specification by randomly exploring the input space.

This talk introduces property-based testing FsCheck, an F# port of Quickcheck. The API will be introduced before being demonstrated in development of a simple regular expression engine, and used to check invariants for data structures.

About us

The λ lounge meets monthly to talk about and popularise new ways of thinking about computation.  Frequent topics include, functional programming, type systems, programming language design and aspects of computer science.

We are programming language agnostic, but have traditionally focused on exploring functional programming, though we are open to hosting more diverse talks on computer science topics.

We were born from the Manchester Clojure Dojo, when we decided there would be more demand for a broader group focusing on functional programming in general.  We asked politely and took the name from the American revolutionaries, of the orignal Lambda Lounge in St Louis.  Our logo was designed by the incredibly talented @hltn.
Photograph of our first meeting
@RickMoynihan introducing @SimonHolgate's talk on ClojureScript at the first Manchester Lambda Lounge. 

Come along...

to a meeting and join our Google Group!

Join our Google Group, and participate in Manchester's premiere (it's easy when you're the only one) Functional Programming community.

Joining the Google Group is the best way to stay informed on our future meetings, follow up with people after our events, and to help us plan future meetings.

Want to talk?

If you want to talk then there's a good chance the Lambda Lounge will want to listen!

Our main focus is on functional programming, esoteric languages & computer science, however we're a diverse group so if you want to talk the chances are we'll want to listen!

You can submit ideas for talks, by emailing the Google Group.

Previous events

We've been running a multitude of events over the past few years concerned with computer science, programming language theory and new ways of thinking and representing computation.

Below you'll find our event archive covering events we've ran in previous years.
This Monday we have Ric Roberts from the Linked and Open Data company Swirrl talking about graph databases and Linked Data.

We'll be meeting at the normal time of 7pm, but we'll be located in Federation House (2 minutes walk from Madlab) again because of the ongoing Madlab refurbishments.