By Noel Welsh on 18 Mar 2020

ScalaBridge London is moving online until the risk from the COVID-19 pandemic has decreased. This is both an obstacle and an opportunity. In this post we describe how we envision the online version working.


Here’s the short guide to the setup you need to participate in our online sessions:

  • Install Visual Studio Code
  • Install the following extensions in Visual Studio Code:
    • Live Share Extension Pack
    • Scala (Metals)
    • Scala Syntax (official)
    • GitLens
  • Get a camera, headphones, and microphone. This don’t have to be fancy. A phone headset and a laptop camera are fine.

The long explanation: we want a way to share the code editor with others that allows the remote users to interact with the editor. Lots of video conference systems allow screen sharing but not interactivity. There are a few options for interactivity but most of them are restricted in which operating systems they support or cost money. Live Share is free. The disadvantage is that it only runs in Visual Studio Code, which not all of you use. We hope that adapting to a new tool will not prove too much of impediment.

Metals and Scala Syntax are Visual Studio Code extension for working with Scala code. GitLens is for working with Git.

A camera, headphones, and microphone are self explanatory. Building a community of practice is an important goal of ScalaBridge London, and we can’t do that if we can’t easily interact.


We’re going to use Blackboard Collaborate for our video and audio sharing. We’ll all start in one big session and then groups that are tackling the same material will move to breakout rooms. We’ll come back to the main session for our wrap-up. Blackboard Collaborate doesn’t require any special software be installed.

One benefit of online sessions is that we can widen participation to those who could not attend our in-person sessions. To avoid confusion you do not need to be based in London to attend. Anyone who meets our general criteria is welcome.