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Noah Bogart00:05:03 think we as a community do a pretty good job with this but it’s still worth thinking about.

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Cora (she/her)02:05:54

this post is so great!

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Ben Sless03:05:31

We're about as far as can be from comp lang lisp so I feel relatively calm

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I think we do an okay job, honestly. Could be better, we do have some bitter comments over static-typed languages and SQL databases sometimes that I don't think they add to the conversation. Honestly, I think it's hard to get to a good balance: we do want more people to use Clojure, and we do have our opinions on what is good or bad in software development, as with everyone else. What I feel is that we do need to discuss what we feel are "better practices", but back up these with our experiences, otherwise it's just bashing another stack; we can't really control how other will feel about some opinion, but we can avoid using harsh words 🙂.

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Cora (she/her)20:05:19

I think there's a big difference between being toxic vs recognizing things having trade-offs and certain tools having the right balance trade-offs for you

Cora (she/her)20:05:24

and what this is really talking about, I think, is treating technology as more important than people, treating our opinions as objective, and treating opposing opinions as signs of some kind of moral failing


As a technologist, part of my mission in this world is to advance and simplify the state of the art. Most mainstream programming languages aren't concerned with advancing the state of the art - they are not even concerned with making our industry saner. I don't think I regularly engage in toxic behavior whatsoever, but I also won't hesitate to make an attempt at objective comparisons.

Cora (she/her)20:05:08

most mainstream programming languages are concerned with solving problems people have

Cora (she/her)20:05:17

given the resources that people have

Cora (she/her)20:05:23

in a timely and efficient manner


Most people/orgs are lazy and also don't mind (even actively pursue) perpetuating work - more complexity, more billable hours, increased chances of a promotion etc That isn't exclusive to 'other' languages but statistically, from what I've observed Clojurists reject complexity, which is a big part of why I exclusively work in Clojure


The couple chances I had to speak publicly about Clojure for rubyists or java devs I wasn't snarky or such. But I believe in being candid about our deficiencies as an industry. Better ideas improve us all, while feel-good philosophy has a more limited application

Cora (she/her)20:05:04

calling people lazy is too easy, it lets you off the hook for explaining behavior and for fixing the systems that cause it while making you feel unearned superiority. everyone has different trade-offs and resources and and it takes humility to not think you know better than the people most intimately involved with balancing those concerns. and being candid about deficiencies in the industry is great, I can be super critical about clojure, myself. but people matter more and if you don't believe that then I don't know how to convince you that it's worth caring about other people and not just "feel-good philosophy" as though care is somehow bad and should prevent you from being critical of things.

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There's a pretty objective scale for the value of ideas, namely salary, and Clojure regularly has been at the top in various polls. I am not ashamed to express that programming languages are not like colors or flavors - they aren't equal choices, they are artifacts authored by humans, and as such can be flawed. Anyway, enough input from me for the day.

Cora (she/her)21:05:57

they're not paying salary for ideas they're paying salary for developers, and the market for developers is more complicated than "more money = better language". I would never say that languages are equal choices, and in fact I said the opposite, that the right choice of language depends on a ton of factors. you might say a language is superior all things being equal but all things are never equal. for example, if I had a team of PHP devs and needed to build a CMS and didn't have unlimited time or budget then I wouldn't tell them to pick up Clojure I'd tell them to maybe use wordpress or laravel or something similar that played to their strengths that gave them a massive head start. sure php has some semantics I don't like but it's mostly just fine for a lot of problems and is even pushing the available resources for rapid application development forward faster than any community I'm aware of. ideas don't win on their own, nothing is that simple, and part of what makes ideas win is people and how you care about them and their needs.

Ben Sless04:05:37

This is getting pretty into the weeds, but value is inherently subjective; Clojure developers are paid well because they're rare AND valuable for their employers. There are plenty of niche languages which do not pay well

Ben Sless04:05:54

The value to the organization is a function of its value to the customers! You can have the best or most beautiful idea but of the customers aren't served by it, it has no value to the organization. The value can be second order, for sure, doesn't have to be a product, but it's very relative in time and place


It's also worth keeping one other major contextual factor in mind when considering how to interpret high SWE salaries: there's a lot of VC cash floating around that I believe is inflating salaries for software developers as startups compete for workers with gigantic monopolies. It's unclear how long this will last, especially as the tech bubble is starting to pop. Investors may find that the rates of return they were hoping for from tech are illusory, and provide less money to future startups. One need only compare the salaries listed in the USA with other countries in the #jobs channel to see how things might be inflated in the US by the presence of that pool of capital. I don't think my skills are "worth more" than those of or, even if my salary is currently higher than those professions' averages due to the political economy of tech right now.

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