In early 2010, Amit Rathore and Tim Dysinger had the idea that it was the right time for a Clojure conference. In early April of that year, Cognitect (then Relevance) reached out to offer our support. By late October, the inaugural Clojure/conj was a reality. You can relive those early days by:
- watching the talks
- reading Alex Miller's review
- checking out BG's awesome flickr album
- remembering the awesomeness of Anthony Grimes coming to his first conference, and of Chas who spearheaded getting him there
That first year in Raleigh, there were 167 attendees altogether, which rose to more than 500 last year in Austin. Along the way, the Conj moved up to Washington DC for 3 years, including a stop at the beautiful George Washington Masonic Memorial Theater:
From there, in 2015, it moved to Philadelphia, and last year to Austin, Texas, with this year being, of course, Baltimore.
Along the way, we've had some great moments. Near and dear to our hearts this year, back in 2013 David Bock baked Clojure a 6th birthday cake, which Rich and Stu joined forces to cut:
In 2010, there was an after party at Tir Na Nog in Raleigh. The party was meant to be a place to unwind, chat and hang out in a relaxed atmosphere, but instead, was dominated by some excellent (and excellently loud) bagpipers:
A few other personal favorites of mine:
- In 2012, Bodil Stokke gave one of the first ClojureScript talks, ClojureScript All the Way Down
- 2013's Russ Olsen inspirational extravaganza To the Moon!
- and 2013's drily funny Programming with Hand Tools by Tim Ewald
- 2015's first parent/child presentation at Conj when Mark and Alex Engelberg gave a great talk on Solving Problems with Automata
- In 2016, Kim Crayton took us away from the confines of just code to talk about Overcoming the Challenges of Mentoring
And let's not forget the collection of talks Rich has given at the Conj:
- 2010's Hammock Driven Development
- 2011's Keynote on Areas of Interest for Clojure
- 2012's The Language of the System
- 2013's diversion into Harmonikit
- 2014's Inside Transducers
- and 2016's Spec-ulation
There have been so many great speakers and talks over the years at Conj, but invariably what stands out from personal recollection and from the feedback we receive each year is how much fun is had, and how much value is gained, in the hallway track and the times between and around the talks as the community gets together. If you go back to the early days of 2010, that was the impetus that drove Amit and Tim and then us to want to see Conj come into existence - to bring as many people from the community together in one place as we could and give everyone the chance to meet and get to know their fellow travelers.
This year, as we gear up for the seventh Conj, we are also celebrating Clojure's 10th anniversary (and ClojureScript's 5th, too!). It is remarkable to think of those time scales - a decade of Clojure in the wild. Certainly, the growth of the community of developers using Clojure has been wonderful to see, and we are thrilled to mark this anniversary with everyone in Baltimore this year. In addition to all the wonderful talks, there will be special events to celebrate the anniversary, a game night event, and much more. See you there!