Clojure-conj was put together quickly but I think the guys at Relevance got all the important stuff right. Major major kudos for putting a stake in the ground and getting it done.
There were typical problems with hand-written badges, crappy wifi, etc but that’s nothing compared to getting the right set of people in a room together to talk about important and essential things, and on that count the conj succeeded wonderfully. Repeatedly throughout the two days I found myself in the hallway or sitting next to some smart person I know from Twitter or the Clojure community. I really enjoyed hearing from those guys but perhaps even more I enjoyed talking to people that are current or future users of Clojure to hear why they were so excited about the technology.
Stu was a masterful guide, keeping the trains running on time with the perfect amount of humor, stories, and humility. The Relevance crew are inexperienced at running a conference but got things in the ballpark and made things right when they weren’t. Many props for getting through the first year of a conference! I’ve been there and while it sometimes feels like the world is crumbling when you’re on the inside, 95% of what happens, no one sees at all.
The Friday night party was fun but I could have done with something closer to the conference and about 10% of the bagpipes so the conversation could flow a bit more. Regardless, it was a good time and lots of good food and drink. I think those chips and cheese were the Irish moral equivalent of nachos and I believe my position on nachos is clear.
From talking to Stu, there are great things ahead for the conj and I think they’re on exactly the right path. Doing the first conj as a single-track conference was the right decision as it let the community come together and have a conversation for a couple days.
I sincerely hope that the community is a lot bigger next year and it makes sense to have parts of the conference where everyone can come together to talk about the language as well as parts where people can split off to talk in more focused ways about important sub-domains like web dev, dev ops, statistics, etc.
Something I heard several times from Strange Loop and I think will become equally important in the future for the conj is that the conference will need to cater both to beginners and experienced users of the language. It will be important to have an “intro to protocols” talk and also a “exotic uses of protocols” talk that assumes the fundamental knowledge and goes deep.
I hope that the conj also does more with lightning talks and open calls. The invited speakers and talks were fantastic but as we saw by the lightning talks, there are lots of interesting things going on that will come only from an open process for selecting talks. Strange Loop does a mix of invited talks and open call and I’m really happy with how that mix turned out this year.
I can’t wait till next year and I hope I can be involved in some way to make the conj an enduring success.
My other blogs
Here are the other conj-related blogs I wrote:
- Parallel programming and fork-join
- Fighting for Clojure
- Composable abstractions
- Data structures
- Hammock-driven development
Some other reviews I’ve seen so far:
- Clojure Conj Reading List
- Notes from Rich Hickey’s Keynote at ClojureConj
- clojure-conj day 1 notes
- clojure-conj day 2 notes
- First Clojure Conj Highlights
- The Conj
I’ll try to update this list as I see more but no guarantees…