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How I Crossed the ClojureBridge and Learned to Code

On Friday, September 26, 2014, Thoughtworks San Francisco was packed with women, hastily installing all of the necessary software to prepare themselves for an all-day intensive workshop on the programming language, Clojure. The event was hosted by ClojureBridge, an organization seeking to make tech more diverse and encourage more women to pursue software development by hosting free weekend workshops world-wide.

Students come from all experience levels, whether they are completely new to programming or professional developers seeking to learn Clojure. By the end of the install fest, everyone in the room had the tool belt necessary for a Saturday of learning and writing code.

The following day ClojureBridge's host, David Chambers, gave us a brief introduction before we dove into analyzing data structures and functions, slowly learning how to piece together a program.

What did I find out about Clojure?

  1. Clojure is simple. It didn't take me too long to understand what each function meant and how we were going to use it. This isn't to say the language is basic, but rather far more approachable for those hoping to get the ball rolling.
  2. Clojure is all-purpose. Some languages are specific to web applications (CSS) or iPhone apps (Objective-C); however, Clojure can be used to power (almost) anything! It has a strong foundation to do a variety of tasks, from scraping web pages to building websites to running parallel tasks.
  3. Clojure is fun. This is clearly a matter of opinion, but I strongly encourage anyone who is having a hard time learning how to program to give Clojure a shot. You might surprise yourself and not only have a powerful web application, but even have fun making it!

Check to see when ClojureBridge is coming to a city near you. If there isn't anything scheduled, maybe you can change that!

Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.

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