The name Scala derives from a combination of the words “scalable” and “language”. Scala is a functional programming language, which runs on top of the Java virtual machine and can use any Java class. Scala is well suited for distributed programming and big data. It is what Apache Spark is built in and can provide better performance when compared to Python and is much less verbose than Java. Whether you’re learning about functional programming or starting a career in big data, Scala is a great place to start.