patkua@work

The intersection of technology and leadership

Three Days of Clojure Joy

A couple of weeks ago, I sat in a training class run by Stuart Halloway, CEO of Relevance and who ThoughtWorks happened to bring across from the US to give us the low down of Clojure.

We covered a lot of material in the three days – covering pretty much every aspect of Clojure. We learnt all the basics such as core data types, namespaces, how to get documentation and examples, and many of the key functions that come as part of the core clojure libriares.

I appreciated the time spent discussing the background of why clojure exists, and the alternatives that are present in many other languages. It was great to have someone as knowledge as Stuart as we could ask as many questions as we like about things.

The training wasn’t just all talking and we did do a few exercises. I have to admit because I hadn’t touched any real functional programming since university, many of the exercises towards the end of the three days went over my head a little bit – a combination of needing to know some key clojure functions, and probably needing to re-adjust to a “functional way of thinking” which I think proves the biggest challenge.

In terms of tooling, we used the simple REPL and whatever environment we chose (the exercises don’t really need that much) although I learned about ParEdit that seemed to be quite useful.

I also learned about a new datastructure – Bit Partitioned Hash Trees (more here and here that I need to do some more reading around.

The course accelerated quickly, covering basic functional programming on the first day, the different ideas between state and time in clojure and then syntatic programming. Also we covered topics such as Interoperability with Java libraries and the problems that protocols address and defrecords (prefer defrecords over deftypes as the latter is now considered deprecated).

Just like any good training course, it left me realising how much more I need to learn and get my head around. This only really comes with more time and practice.

1 Comment

  1. There’s more good learning material on http://clojure.com/reading.html

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