It’s a new year and while we have several exciting projects to announce, one thing that stays the same in our company in 2022 and beyond is our dedication to Clojure. 

After 8 years of usage, we have grown to become one of the largest Clojure teams in the world and we are still growing. In fact, after Nubank and Cognitect we don’t know of any larger Clojure development team. There’s plenty of reasons to continue using Clojure and ClojureScript, many of which are covered here. But you may still wonder, what makes Clojure a language of the future?

1. Enterprises keep investing in Clojure

Clojure probably won’t steal the spotlight in lists of popular languages in 2022 outside of the world of functional programming. But even though Clojure does not have the buzz of other languages, it is used by many market leaders and organisations. Some notable examples include Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Oracle, Zalando and SoundCloud. Since the Clojure team tends to be a smaller part of a bigger development team, it often flies under the radar and goes unnoticed in the eyes of the public. The fact that business giants keep investing in Clojure is also something shown in the State of Clojure 2021 survey, where it’s reported that enterprises with over 1000 employees have a high growth of Clojure developers. The start-up world is however still as significant for Clojure as before. 

The financial sector stands out with many banks and financial services using Clojure, the most prominent example of recent times being Nubank. Nubank is expected to reinvent financial services across Latin America and currently employs over 700 Clojure developers.

2. The Clojure community is growing stronger

Clojure is popular among experienced developers, yet it is a community without hubris, as it’s known for being friendly to newbies. In the State of Clojure 2021 survey, one third of Clojure developers stated that they spend time helping new Clojure developers, which are becoming an increasingly larger part of the community. In fact, 25 percent of current developers have been using Clojure for a year or less, which is a great sign of the health of Clojure looking at 2022 and beyond. 

The Clojure community is enthusiastic and fast-growing and you will learn plenty if you decide to participate in it. Sense of community is vital with Clojure developers and for Flexianas part, we love to give back to the community. Some ways of doing so have included developing and maintaining open-source Clojure and ClojureScript libraries, supporting Clojure core development and sponsoring Clojure conferences.

3. Clojure is the right tool for the job

The heart of any development task is to convert ideas into systems. Lisp languages have always been good at this, smoothing out the friction between thought processes and code. Unfortunately Lisps have not generally been taught at anything below graduate level and the radically different approach can be jarring to someone who has already learnt a more conventional programming language. Clojure is a lisp, and is bringing the capabilities of that style of thinking and programming out of academia and into the real world.

4. Clojure is fun

After the initial learning phase, which is often quite short, most aspects of the development process become easier. Developers hit “the flow” state with minimal effort and minimal resistance from the language. 

5. Clojure has low friction

Well written Clojure is clear and understandable. Scanning it for meaning in an unfamiliar codebase tends to be easier than in other languages that have complex syntax and require more boilerplate. This does require some care and thought when creating the code, but it is possible to write systems that will be easier to maintain because of the reduced cognitive load required by the future developer. This has long been the limiting factor in software development and Clojure allows us to push that boundary a bit further out.

Conclusion

It may fly under the radar, but learning Clojure in 2022 is as promising as ever, as exemplified by the growth of users in market leading businesses and organisations as well as the significant increase of beginner Clojurians. If you want to learn a language that smooths out the friction between thought processes and code, that is clear and understandable and where you’re supported by a strong community, then Clojure is a great bet. But more importantly, if you want to invest your time in a language that is fun (something we all need a bit more of in a post-pandemic world) then look no further.

Want to know more about how we work with Clojure? Let’s have a chat.

Ado is a marketer at Flexiana. He is a multilingual with passion for digital and has worked for global corporations as well as run his own impact start-up. When he is not connected you’ll likely find him hiking in the mountains or swimming in the mediterranean sea.
Iain Wood has been using and abusing computers since the days of punched cards. Currently programming in Clojure for Flexiana.