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Compose Melbourne :: What we Learned from Starting a Functional Programming Conference

YOW! Lambda Jam 2019

Everything you ever wanted to know about starting a functional programming conference from scratch and some things you didn't. We'll cover the great times, the stressful times and all of the behind-the-scenes. Learn how we brought people together, how we chose talks and how we managed to create a community atmosphere enjoyed by both beginners and sages alike.

Andy Kitchen

Committee Member

Melbourne Functional Programming Association


Andy Kitchen is an AI researcher with a love of functional programming and computer science. He has helped found and organise the Compose :: Melbourne conference and the Melbourne Functional Programming Association.

Les Kitchen

Honorary Sr. Research Fellow

University of Melbourne


I first encountered functional programming in a home-brewed functional language called Flip as an undergraduate student at the University of Sydney in around 1972. Scary long time ago. I did a lot of Lisp programming as a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland, and later as researcher and academic, University of Massachusetts, University of Western Australia, ending up at the University of Melbourne. Mainly in computer vision. A bit of robotics, human-computer interaction. My son Andy properly introduced me to Haskell, and from there I've developed a love for the depth and elegance and power of statically typed functional languages.

Currently, I'm an Honorary Senior Fellow in the Department of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne, doing casual tutoring, and active in the technical community: organizing Compose::Melbourne, Melbourne Functional Programming Association, Free Software Melbourne, Melbourne Maths Science Meetup; also belonging to Melbourne Haskell Meetup, Linux Users of Victoria / Linux Australia, Electronic Frontiers Australia, clj-melb. Building connection and community in the tech space.

Lyndon Maydwell

Head of Engineering




I'm Lyndon, I have a strong interest in functional programming with some personal and professional experience in a wide variety of settings. I started the Melbourne Haskell Users Group 6 years ago and it's been a blast hanging out with the local strongly-typed FP crowd in the CBD. More recently I've been involved in spinning up the Compose :: Melbourne conference and the MFPAI organisation that helps manage the administrative aspects. Day-to-day I lead the engineering team at Silverpond - commercialising AI research into computer-vision and more.

Don't be shy, say hi!



Noon van der Silk




Noon has 18+ years experience in various forms of software engineering, application development, and the design and implementation of machine learning + AI systems. Within AI he has a special interest in the field of computer vision and interactive art.

Noon has a research background, obtaining a Masters in Pure Mathematics, with a focus on quantum computing.

Noon is particularly passionate about empowering people through skill development, which he does through the training courses over at the Braneshop.