A year of functional programming


First things first: the title is a lie.

If you happen to be one of my passionate readers, you may recall I started working with Clojure on April 1. So yes, not every month of the year has been devoted to functional programming. I just needed something bold to pull you in, sorry.

Now, how does it feel having worked with Clojure for almost a year?

Here at 7bridges we had our fair share of projects. The open source ones are just a selected few: clj-odbp, a driver for OrientDB binary protocol; carter, an SPA to show how our driver works; remys, a little tool to interact with MySQL databases via REST APIs. I also had the chance to play with ArangoDB recently, and there were no problems building a sample project to understand its APIs.

At home, boodle was born to strengthen my ever-growing knowledge and do something useful for the family.

When I started in the new office, the switch from professional Java to professional Clojure was a bit overwhelming. New libraries, new tools, new patterns, new ways of solving the same old problems, new problems to approach with a totally different mindset. It all seemed too much.

Then, something clicked.

Having the same language on both client- and server-side helped me figure out the matters at hand with a set of ideas I could easily reuse. Once I understood the problem, I could look for the steps to solve it. Each step required a data structure and the function to handle this data structure. The first time I used reduce-kv because it was the most natural choice left a great smile on my face.

There is still much to learn, though. Due to lack of experience with JavaScript, my ClojureScript-fu needs to improve. I have come to appreciate unit testing, but it’s time to put this love at work on my .cljs files too. I also definitely want to know more about Clojure web applications security and performances.

2017 has been a great year to be a functional programmer. My recent liaison with Haskell is directing me more and more on my way. The functional programming way.