So, you may wonder, how did this book—and its second edition—come about? Well, back in 2011, Brian Goetz (the Java Language Architect at Oracle) was sharing various proposals to add lambda expressions to Java, with the aim of getting the community involved. These rekindled my excitement, and I started to evangelize the ideas, organizing Java 8 workshops at various developer conferences and giving lectures to students at the University of Cambridge.
By April 2013, word had spread, and our publisher at Manning emailed asking whether I was interested in writing a book about lambdas in Java 8. At the time I was a “humble” second-year PhD candidate, and that seemed to be a bad idea because it would interfere with my thesis submission schedule. On the other hand, carpe diem. I thought writing a short book shouldn’t be too much work, right? (It was only later that I realized I was utterly wrong!) So, I sought advice from my PhD supervisor, Professor Alan Mycroft, who, it turned out, was ready to support me in this adventure (even offering to help in such non-PhD work—I’m forever in his debt). A few days later, we met fellow Java 8 evangelist Mario Fusco, who had vast professional experience and had become well known at major developer conferences for his talks on functional programming.
We quickly realized that by combining our energy and diverse backgrounds we could deliver, not just a short book on Java 8 lambdas, but instead a book that, we hope, the Java community will still be reading in five or ten years. We had a unique opportunity to discuss many topics in depth that will benefit Java programmers and open doors to a new universe of ideas: functional programming.