Programming Books

11 Excellent Free Books to Learn Scala

Last Updated on May 22, 2022

Scala is a modern, object-functional, multi-paradigm, Java-based programming and scripting language that’s released under the Apache License 2.0. It blends functional and object-oriented programming models. Scala introduces several innovative language constructs. It improves on Java’s support for object-oriented programming by traits, which are stackable and cannot have constructor parameters. It also offers closures, a feature that dynamic languages like Python and Ruby have adopted.

Scala is particularly useful for building cloud-based/deliverable Software as a Service (SaaS) online applications, and is also proficient to develop traditional, imperative code.

The language helps programmers write tighter code. It uses a number of techniques to cut down on unnecessary syntax, which helps to make code succinct. Typically, code sizes are reduced by an order of 2 or 3 compared to an equivalent Java application.

Here’s our recommended free Scala books.

1. Programming in Scala by Martin Odersky, Lex Spoon, and Bill Venners

Programming in ScalaProgramming in Scala is a comprehensive step-by-step tutorial, written by people directly involved in the development of the language.

It’s a comprehensive tutorial and reference; the book covers the entire language and important libraries.

The main target audience for this book is programmers who want to learn to program in Scala. If you want to do your next software project in Scala, this is our highly recommended text.

Read the book

2. Programming Scala by Dean Wampler, Alex Payne

Programming ScalaProgramming Scala introduces a language that offers all the benefits of a modern object model, functional programming, and an advanced type system.

This book teaches the reader how to be productive with this language quickly, and explains what makes this language ideal for today’s highly scalable, component-based applications that support concurrency and distribution.

Chapters cover:

  • Zero to Sixty: Introducing Scala.
  • Type Less, Do More – discusses uses of Scala that promote succinct, flexible code.
  • Rounding Out the Essentials.
  • Traits.
  • Basic Object-Oriented Programming in Scala.
  • Advanced Object-Oriented Programming In Scala.
  • The Scala Object System.
  • Functional Programming in Scala.
  • Robust, Scalable Concurrency with Actors.
  • Herding XML in Scala.
  • Domain-Specific Languages in Scala.
  • The Scala Type System.
  • Application Design.
  • Scala Tools, Libraries and IDE Support.

Programming Scala is an excellent open source book that used to be distributed under O’Reilly’s Open Feedback Publishing System (OFPS), a platform which offered public commenting on digital manuscripts. Sadly that system was retired by O’Reilly.

Many of the book projects from OFPS were migrated to O’Reilly’s Atlas Reader. Sadly, Programming Scala was not migrated. But given the book is such a useful read and is published under an open source license, we can share the book here.

Read the book

3. Essential Scala by Noel Welsh and Dave Gurnell

Essential Scala

Essential Scala is aimed at experienced developers who are encountering Scala for the first time. Put your existing skills to use mastering Scala’s combination of object-oriented and functional programming.

The book teaches you Scala from the basics of its syntax to advanced problem solving techniques. We place a heavy focus on developing the functional programming mindset you need to get the most out of the language.

Each section has a practical focus, mixing content with in-depth and exercises.

Read the book

4. Creative Scala by Dave Gurnell and Noel Welsh

Creative ScalaCreative Scala is targeted at new developers who want to learn Scala and have fun.

Chapters cover:

  • Getting Started.
  • Expressions, Types and Values.
  • Computing with Pictures.
  • Writing Larger Programs.
  • The Substitution Model of Evaluation.
  • Methods.
  • Structural Recursion.
  • Horticulture and Higher-order Functions.
  • Shapes, Sequences, and Stars.
  • Turtle Algebra and Algebraic Data Types.
  • Composition of Generative Art.
  • Algebraic Data Types to Call Our Own.
  • Summary.
  • Syntax Quick Reference.

The exercises in Creative Scala are based on a functional graphics library called Doodle.

It is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Read the book

Next page: Page 2 – The Type Astronaut’s Guide to Shapeless Book and more books

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Programming in Scala and more books
Page 2 – The Type Astronaut’s Guide to Shapeless Book and more books
Page 3 – Scala & Design Patterns: Exploring Language Expressivity and more books

All books in this series:

Free Programming Books
AdaALGOL-like programming language, extended from Pascal and other languages
AgdaDependently typed functional language based on intuitionistic Type Theory
ArduinoInexpensive, flexible, open source microcontroller platform
AssemblyAs close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal
AwkVersatile language designed for pattern scanning and processing language
BashShell and command language; popular both as a shell and a scripting language
BASICBeginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
CGeneral-purpose, procedural, portable, high-level language
C++General-purpose, portable, free-form, multi-paradigm language
C#Combines the power and flexibility of C++ with the simplicity of Visual Basic
ClojureDialect of the Lisp programming language
ClojureScriptCompiler for Clojure that targets JavaScript
COBOLCommon Business-Oriented Language
CoffeeScriptTranscompiles into JavaScript inspired by Ruby, Python and Haskell
CoqDependently typed language similar to Agda, Idris, F* and others
CrystalGeneral-purpose, concurrent, multi-paradigm, object-oriented language
CSSCSS (Cascading Style Sheets) specifies a web page’s appearance
DGeneral-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax
DartClient-optimized language for fast apps on multiple platforms
DylanMulti-paradigm language supporting functional and object-oriented coding
ECMAScriptBest known as the language embedded in web browsers
EiffelObject-oriented language designed by Bertrand Meyer
ElixirRelatively new functional language running on the Erlang virtual machine
ErlangGeneral-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional language
F#Uses functional, imperative, and object-oriented programming methods
FactorDynamic stack-based programming language
ForthImperative stack-based programming language
FortranThe first high-level language, using the first compiler
GoCompiled, statically typed programming language
GroovyPowerful, optionally typed and dynamic language
HaskellStandardized, general-purpose, polymorphically, statically typed language
HTMLHyperText Markup Language
IconWide variety of features for processing and presenting symbolic data
JArray programming language based primarily on APL
JavaGeneral-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, high-level language
JavaScriptInterpreted, prototype-based, scripting language
JuliaHigh-level, high-performance language for technical computing
KotlinMore modern version of Java
LabVIEWDesigned to enable domain experts to build power systems quickly
LaTeXProfessional document preparation system and document markup language
LispUnique features - excellent to study programming constructs
LogoDialect of Lisp that features interactivity, modularity, extensibility
LuaDesigned as an embeddable scripting language
MarkdownPlain text formatting syntax designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write
Objective-CObject-oriented language that adds Smalltalk-style messaging to C
OCamlThe main implementation of the Caml language
PascalImperative and procedural language designed in the late 1960s
PerlHigh-level, general-purpose, interpreted, scripting, dynamic language
PHPPHP has been at the helm of the web for many years
PostScriptInterpreted, stack-based and Turing complete language
PrologA general purpose, declarative, logic programming language
PureScriptSmall strongly, statically typed language compiling to JavaScript
PythonGeneral-purpose, structured, powerful language
QMLHierarchical declarative language for user interface layout - JSON-like syntax
RDe facto standard among statisticians and data analysts
RacketGeneral-purpose, object-oriented, multi-paradigm, functional language
RakuMember of the Perl family of programming languages
RubyGeneral purpose, scripting, structured, flexible, fully object-oriented language
RustIdeal for systems, embedded, and other performance critical code
ScalaModern, object-functional, multi-paradigm, Java-based language
SchemeA general-purpose, functional language descended from Lisp and Algol
ScratchVisual programming language designed for 8-16 year-old children
SQLAccess and manipulate data held in a relational database management system
Standard MLGeneral-purpose functional language characterized as "Lisp with types"
SwiftPowerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language
TclDynamic language based on concepts of Lisp, C, and Unix shells
TeXMarkup and programming language - create professional quality typeset text
TypeScriptStrict syntactical superset of JavaScript adding optional static typing
ValaObject-oriented language, syntactically similar to C#
VHDLHardware description language used in electronic design automation
VimLPowerful scripting language of the Vim editor
XMLRules for defining semantic tags describing structure ad meaning
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