Western Mass. Developer’s Group and Snowtide Host Rich Hickey and Clojure

Last night, we had the privilege to host a talk by Rich Hickey on concurrency in Clojure at our offices in Northampton.  A good portion of the Western Mass. Developer’s Group showed up for the event.  Many thanks to Lou Franco for coordinating things, and Shawn Fumo for arranging to have Rich’s talk taped for posterity (available at blip.tv). And, of course, thanks go to Rich who took the time to make the drive up to Northampton from New York City.  (Fanciful thought: does this mean that the developer’s group constitutes a programmer’s oasis?  Is Western Mass. the new center of gravity for innovative software development in New England? *wink*) Lou’s notes on the talk itself capture its content far better than I’ll dare to attempt at this point.  Suffice it to say that it was a great presentation by Rich, who clearly has a penchant for teasing apart complex topics and evangelizing Clojure very effectively.  Luckily for the rest of us, there are a number of other talks about Clojure by Rich floating around in the ether. It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me at all that I love what Clojure has come to be.  I followed Rich’s prior attempts to marry Lisp and Java (specifically, Foil and jFli), but Clojure tops those efforts handily on essentially every front. But, what of my fervent love of Scala, so earnestly professed in this very space?  Clearly, I’m not particularly monogamous when it comes to programming languages.  Clojure and Scala have a lot in common, but they are very, very different from each other — although they share the common traits of (a) being better than “straight” Java in so many ways, and (b) enabling functional programming on the JVM (and of course, .NET via ikvm).  You can love both; maybe it’s a right-brain, left-brain thing.  (I can clearly imagine Professor Stillings scowling at me for that one.) Anyway, again, a big ‘thank you’ to Rich Hickey and everyone else who made last night possible.