A Month with clojure

I’ve been using clojure actively for almost a month now. Here are some of my experiences so far.


  • Getting started with the language is not that hard. Mastery is going to take a long time.
  • Cursive is a good extension of Idea with clojure support. Additional tooling like build via Leiningen, git, debug just work as expected.
  • Clojars is a great resource to find community built clojure libraries. Since leinigen can also download from maven repositories, there is not much of a library problem. There exist quality libraries for web stuff, testing, databases etc.
  • Clojuredocs is a life saver for understanding functions especially because of the examples.
  • core.async which implements CSP is pretty neat.
  • Getting used to basic lisp syntax with parentheses does not take that long.
  • Java interop takes some time taking getting used to with the order of object and method name, but it works great.
  • Functional programming.
  • Focus on data rather than classes.


  • Server start times are slow. Either leiningen or class generating is taking a whole lot of time. I guess I am not using the REPL correctly. Or I need to figure out hot-reloading of code.
  • So far I’ve not been able to figure our Paredit mode.
  • I’ve incorrectly matched the braces at times completely changing the meaning of the code. My return value from say a let expression changed completely and I’ve taken quite a bit of time to get back on track.
  • Code becomes pretty compact very easily making it less readable. I’ve wanted to add log lines in an if-else block and then adding a complete do block feels dirty. Code reviews are also harder as a consequence.
  • Java debug fails since generated code reuses the same code line and so next does not work as expected.
  • Being a lisp, some libraries are implemented DSLs which makes code less readable initially. Even destructuring trips me off right now. I’m just about getting comfortable with the -> and -» macros.

Essentially most of my negative comments are early pain points getting started with a language and ecosystem.