PurelyFunctional.tv Newsletter 202: The Clojure/conj edition

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Issue 202 - December 05, 2016


Hi Clojurists,

Well, I just got back on Sunday from Austin, Texas. I was attending Clojure/conj. It was a whirlwind of great talks, great barbecue, and great programmers. It was tiring, but inspiring. I think this was my best conference experience yet. It takes practice to get good at them.

I didn't get to see every talk. Because the conference published the recordings almost immediately, it eased my mind to focus on the "hallway track" where I could make personal connections. But I did see some of the talks and I've selected some of those to share here. There are also a few things from outside of the Conj that I made it in as well.

Rock on!
Eric Normand <eric@lispcast.com>

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Jenn Schiffer at XOXO YouTube

Jenn Schiffer is an online web tech satirist. She brings necessary humor to the often abrasive online discussions we have about programming. This is her talk at XOXO.


Agility & Robustness: Clojure spec YouTube

Stuart Halloway gave a two hour talk/discussion the night before the Conj. It was hosted by the Austin Clojure Meetup. He gives a nice talk then answers questions for a long time. It's much more in-depth than the prior talk of the same name given at Strange Loop. Be sure to make a note of


Barliman: trying the halting problem backwards, blindfolded YouTube

Will Byrd and Greg Rosenblatt give a demo of Barliman. It's an IDE that generates code for you given some tests. You can put "holes" in your code (places where you don't define the code) that Barliman will fill in with code that passes the tests. They are very brave to embark on research that they believe might only pay off after many years.


Computer Science as Empirical Inquiry: Symbols and Search PDF

Allen Newell and Herbert Simon were jointly awarded the Turing Award in 1975. Their lecture summarizes the influences on their many contributions to Computer Science. It touches on the importance of Lisp, the beginnings of logic programming, and artificial intelligence, among other things. The main thesis is that Computer Science does and should hypothesize about the world and use its tools to verify them.


Spec-ulation YouTube

Rich Hickey focuses his finely honed powers of decomplection on the problem of dependencies between libraries.


Building Composable Abstractions YouTube

This was my talk at the Conj. I describe a process for using your intuition to develop composable abstractions. I have had many hours of discussion with people about the topic since and have also watched the recording. I have already thought of several ways to make the process better and I'll write them up. This is not the end of these ideas. My intention with the talk was always to start a discussion about the content of our code.


Overcoming the Challenges of Mentoring YouTube

Kim Crayton gave a powerful talk about the difficulties of being a beginner programming and the importance of a strong mentoring relationship to help them through the learning process. I cannot recommend this talk highly enough. She actually connected mentors and mentees during the talk. She is a woman of action! Sign up to be a mentor or mentee on her site Jr. Dev Mentoring.


The Cuneiform Tablets of 2015 PDF

Alan Kay is at it again. This time he is looking at preserving software so that it can be run thousands of years in the future. Thanks to @webyrd for this one.