From Desire
To Development
Virtual
Conference
03-04 December 2021
This Is How
The Story Began:
re:Clojure

FRESHCODE AT RE:CLOJURE 2021:
HOW THE STORY BEGAN

NEWS
The turn of the 2021 year is marked for Freshcode by participation in the re:Clojure conference that took place on December 3-4.

It was a significant and joyful event for us. We thank all participants and organizations for this great opportunity to share thoughts and ideas for enhancing the Clojure ecosystem.

But first things first. Here is a brief story of Freshcode's journey to the kingdom of Clojure development, including re:Clojure county. :-)

1. Desire and Motivation

We shook hands with Clojure language in 2013 for the first time and these 8 years were an amazing journey full of challenges, discoverings, and achievements we are happy for.

Probably, our main motivator was Artem Barmin, and namely his enthusiasm for functional programming, particularly, for Haskell, Common Lisp, and Clojure. The last one became the major landmark for Freshcode and defined the guidelines for our development.
Artem Barmin Freshcode
Artem Barmin, co-founder at Freshcode
As we already mentioned, Freshcode started developing its own Clojure product in 2013. It was an eCommerce platform for smart buying — the choice was between Ruby on Rails or Clojure, and we decided to go with the last one.

Today we have a quite big talented Clojure team and several completed Clojure-based products within different domains. Also, we've adopted internal training for our developers to switch from other programming languages to Clojure.
Clojure development Freshcode
In 2021, we focused on analyzing the state of the Clojure community and Clojure implementation within software products worldwide. And there was where the new story begins.

2. Research and Idea Validation

So it was time to translate desires and ideas into some action. We decided to make our contribution to the Clojure community. For this purpose, it was necessary to understand the current state of the Clojure community, its needs, and its pain points.

Our marketing department has conducted several surveys during 2020-21 years and gathered a number of insights from Clojure developers. We collected and analyzed practitioners' opinions about Clojure's benefits and issues for understanding community development challenges.

In order to receive feedback, the Freshcode marketing team has interviewed 52 programmers from different parts of the world. We've asked the following questions:

  1. Why do you use Clojure? What are the main reasons for your choice?
  2. What is the reason for the unpopularity of Clojure?
  3. What do you see as a solution to the slow development of the Clojure community?

Here are 5 main steps in our further research process:
1. Identify the issue
2. Find respondents (using social media or specialized web resources like (Slack communities and others)
3. Make a list of proper questions
4. Conduct a survey/interview
5. Debrief and implement
Freshcode Clojure research
Freshcode presentation on re:Clojure 2021 conference: results of research
All received data we've compiled into brief eBook "Mythbusters: Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid of Clojure". You can download it free here.

We thank all those who have participated in our survey for your time and feedback.

3. ANALYSIS AND Planning

In 2021 we were researching the current state of the broad Clojure tooling ecosystem by interviews with Clojure experts to understand how can we avoid issues. We contrasted Clojure tooling approaches and tendencies, including their strengths and weaknesses.

First results were highlighted in the "Multitude Of Clojure Tools: Huge Advantage Or Big Problem?" article.

We thank Sean Corfield and Daniel Slutsky for generously sharing their deep thoughts on the subject.
Our marketing department in collaboration with the Freshcode Clojure team has prepared a number of articles containing Clojure developers' insights, real-life cases, and tips for beginners on how to start with Clojure.

Clojure articles
Also, we highlight Lisp and Lisp curse topics in our articles (by the way, Freshcode welcomes your ideas, wishes, and contribution to Clojure research).

The main idea was to find a way to improve Clojure ergonomics and remove such friction points as wasting time on library choosing and decision-making about what architecture to use.

4. Development AND PRESENTATION

Step by step, we came to the conclusion we need to сollect the experience of current Clojure developers in one place that can be accessed anytime by a novice.

So, Freshcode team decided to accumulate all accessible knowledge in a well-structured system. In 2021 we started the development of a content curation platform сlojure.garden that structures information flow about Clojure libs and helps find suitable tools without wasting time.

Major tech ideas we want to realize:

  • Build a kind of customer journey map for developers inside the Clojure
  • Create a database that will make it easier to find so-called social signals about each Clojure library and all contextual information regarding it (case uses, mentions on forums, etc.)
  • Introduce LibRank ranking system based on social mentions and open-source/closed-source project.clj's
  • Implement the metric 'Clojure Ecosystem Health Score'
For more details, you can check the open-source project on GitHub.
Artem Barmin Freshcode
Freshcode presented the platform and our research results at the re:Clojure conference that took place on December 3-4, 2021. It was a vital step to make sure of the validity of our product goals and to discuss them with Clojure experts.

Our project team members:

  • Ilshat Sultanov, Clojure developer
  • Volodymyr Pavliuk, Clojure developer
  • Gleb Yeliseev, Clojure developer
  • Inna Kovalenko, marketing manager

      Next steps in the development of clojure.garden we are going to take:

      • Collaboration with learning courses
      • Providing a public project roadmap to the Clojure community
      • Collecting social contexts (Slack, Twitter, project.clj, Reddit, Zulip) and building LibRank
      • Derived Clojure Toolbox from collected data
      • Further promotion and PR

      We are happy to help businesses in moving their products ahead and adding new value with the Clojure expertise that we've got during our almost 10 years in the industry. Also, we are always glad to collaborate with Clojurians to achieve a bright future of Clojure together!

      Contact us to discuss details.

      P.S.: Here you'll find an interview with Freshcode co-founder Artem Barmin dedicated to re:Clojure 2021 conference (you can listen to a podcast or read the transcribed interview we've prepared).
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