Clojure rises in the workplace

More Clojure developers report using the language at work, but having difficulty convincing coworkers

Clojure rises in the workplace
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Clojure, a functional programming language for the JVM that also works with JavaScript and Microsoft’s Common Language Runtime (CLR), is enjoying increased usage in the workplace, according to a user survey. Yet the language still faces obstacles such as difficulty persuading coworkers of its merits and difficulty understanding its error messages.

Results of the State of Clojure 2020 community survey, released last week, found that roughly 69 percent of respondents used Clojure in the workplace, up from about 25 percent 10 years ago. The survey also found that Clojure adoption had increased among large companies, i.e., those with at least 1,000 employees.

Key value propositions cited for Clojure include:

  • Functional programming
  • The REPL
  • Immutable data
  • Ease of development
  • Host interoperability

The survey found that Clojure is most commonly used in web development (79 percent), open source projects (45 percent), commercial services (29 percent), and enterprise apps (also 29 percent). Clojure’s usage in enterprise apps has grown from zero percent 10 years ago. The OSes most often targeted for development include MacOS (55 percent), Linux (35 percent), and Windows (9 percent).

The obstacles cited to using Clojure included persuading coworkers, companies, and clients, difficult error messages, hiring and staffing, and the need for better tools and IDEs. Obstacles cited to using ClojureScript — a Clojure to JavaScript compiler—include using JavaScript libraries, debugging generated JavaScript, and using ClojureScript REPLs.

The State of Clojure 2020 survey queried Clojure users in January about various aspects of the language. More than 2,500 participants responded to different parts of the survey. 

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.