Actor Model Programming in C#

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending Øredev in Malmö, Sweden. While at the conference, I presented two sessions — including a new talk on Actor Model Programming in C#. This was the first official presentation I’ve given on the subject, having done an ad-hoc version of the session at Pablo’s Fiesta this year (which went fairly well, likely due to the awesome Chicken and Waffles at 24 Diner the night before). Early feedback from the Øredev session was positive, which is encouraging since I will be giving an updated version of the talk at CodeMash in January.

First, I wanted to share a few links to the content discussed in the session, including the GitHub Project, the NuGet package, and the TeamCity build. I will update the post with the video link once the presentation video is available, along with the slide deck.

Second, I plan to post a series of blog posts explaining how actor model programming is a great model for building concurrent applications, despite the difficulties that the actor model has had in becoming more mainstream (some of those difficulties are explaining in this article by Paul Mackay).

In the meantime, I’m going to take a hard look at how different languages have implemented the actor model (many of which have influenced the current syntax used in Stact). I’m also taking a step back and identifying other ways the model can be implemented the minimize many of the difficulties and bring some modern programming style to the model. Concurrency is certainly difficult, but I’m convinced that many aspects can be made more approachable by applying some existing idioms to the problem.

If you do take a look at Stact, please offer any feedback you have via Twitter (I’m @PhatBoyG) or GitHub (using issues, whatever). If the traffic grows, we’ll setup a Google group to keep things manageable.

Until next time…


About Chris Patterson

Chris is a senior architect for RelayHealth, the connectivity business of the nation's leading healthcare services company. There he is responsible for the architecture and development of applications and services that accelerate care delivery by connecting patients, providers, pharmacies, and financial institutions. Previously, he led the development of a new content delivery platform for TV Guide, enabling the launch of a new entertainment network seen on thousands of cable television systems. In his spare time, Chris is an active open-source developer and a primary contributor to MassTransit, a distributed application framework for .NET. In 2009, he was awarded the Most Valuable Professional award by Microsoft for his technical community contributions.
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  • Daniel Marbach

    Hy chris
    I a huge fan of MassTransit and all your oyher tools! Thanks for sharing your work! One question: could you provide more links to content which gave you insight into the actor model? I’m very interested in this topic and your help is really appreciated.


  • This looks really interesting. When will your presentation be available from Oredev? I didn’t see it posted yet.