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Introducing Clojure

At work we have something called the “Java forum” where we discuss Java and related technologies from time to time. A while ago I felt that I wanted to contribute with a beginners talk about Clojure for programmers. I’m no expert in the language but I know enough to present at least the fundamentals. So I signed up for a talk and went home to prepare a presentation.

What I came to realize in front of the computer was that it is pretty hard to present Clojure in like 20-30 minutes. To generalize a bit, I would say it is practically impossible to give a proper introduction to any language in that limited time. Clojure is particularly tricky in this sense; a LISP dialect with persistent data structures is pretty far from what Java or JavaScript programmers easily relate to.

I ended up changing my presentation material over and over again, excluding and including things back and forth, but in the end I think it turned out alright. I had to leave out sets, atoms and other cool stuff as there simply was no time to go wide or deep. Anyway, I figured that someone else out there might be interested in an example “agenda” of how to introduce Clojure to developers in such a limited time frame, which is why I uploaded the material to a GitHub repo here. Each expression in the clj-file comes with comments and suggestions of what to say when evaluating them. I used the Light Table code editor during my presentation and that worked pretty well. With that editor you get a nice inline evaluation of your expressions, which is really handy while presenting.

I hope someone out there finds the material valuable in some way or another. Until next time!