Highlights of the Symposium on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology - Day 2

If you haven’t yet, make sure you read my summary of Day 1 first.

Morning Panel

Day 2 started with a morning panel with:

The panelists took turns in giving their views around blockchain, investments and regulation, leading into a Q&A at the end. I was running late to this session and believe I may have missed Ross’ individual slot.

Paul’s slot - I’m a VC and Bitcoin stole my job

Paul raises an interesting perspective on Angel investors. They don’t invest to make money. To them it’s a hobby. There are other, provably more profitable ways to make money.

He also raises the fact that sure there are lots of ICOs but more and more of them seem to be missing their targets. Many reasons but one he mentioned was China’s clampdown on cryptocurrencies.

ICOs are so hot right now that there are companies dedicated to helping it happen with pre-packaged solutions for launching and marketing the token generation event: https://icobox.io/ 

With so many ICOs it becomes increasingly difficult to discern good ideas from bad ones and then from plain scams. Nevertheless people are still innovating and are not deterred by these challenges. One example is TrustToken, which tokenises physical assets.

Leon’s slot

Leon’s particularly not happy with the current Australian Guidance towards ICOs. The current challenge is how to protect consumers, while still enabling companies and entrepreneurs trying to do a legit ICO - I’m assuming Leon is referring here to the plethora of scam ICOs out there.

To Leon - and many in the audience - an ICO is just another tool with very desirable properties: it gives companies the means to connect with individual investors who believe in their cause without diluting equity. In addition, Leon & his board had their share of bad experiences when trying to seek legal advice around ICOs and explaining their SOL Token

There are many types of tokens/coins: equity tokens, cause coins, utility tokens… I knew about some of these but the concept of cause coins is new to me - say, SaveTheElephantsCoin.

Oliver’s slot

Oliver was basically talking about capital raising. 

In particular he points out that the number of IPOs in the US is at an all time low whereas in Australia the trajectory is in the opposite direction. Unfortunately he didn’t dive into the why of this change in scenery in the US.

Personally I wanted to have asked if the decline in IPOs is due to company expansion by acquisition. Companies like Google, Facebook and Atlassian have acquired dozens of smaller successful companies who could have otherwise gone public - is there a correlation here?

Another piece of data Oliver shared is that 25% of companies listed on the ASX have a market cap of up to $5M - he then goes to say that if a company is looking to raise about that much money crowdfunding platforms such as ICOs might just be the way to go.

Audience Q&A

Are ICOs making entrepreneurs soft? 

The problem raised by this question is whether having too much money too soon - as is the case with lots of ICOs -  can be bad for founders.

The panel’s general opinion is that it can be a hindrance: it may lead to scaling up too soon and losing focus as one now thinks it can do many different things at the same time. VCs in general are sceptical of this.

One way to mitigate this mentioned in the event is to have the funds locked up by smart contracts (potentially tied to milestones as opposed to simple time triggers). 

The bottom line is that ICOs are still evolving.

Why invest in ICOs vs traditional investments? Are we opening the floodgates for less knowledgeable, naive people to invest?

Should mom and dad be investing? Maybe not - there isn’t enough information out there, not enough regulation. We’re not there yet.

That said, what ICOs - in particular the tokens people invest in - provide is unprecedented liquidity. Tokens aren’t going away.

In the midst of all this information exchange Naval Narvikant was mentioned as someone to watch. He’s got a couple of articles and podcasts which have been recommended:

Software architecture and engineering for blockchain applications - Ingo Weber - Data61

This next talk was a lot more technical and was delivered by Dr Ingo Weber from Data61. I didn’t take as many notes on this one as a version of the slides is already available.

Dr Weber started with a demo of ethviewer - a way to visualise the ethereum blockchain in realtime and observe how transactions are received, processed and added to blocks. Just plain cool!

The general message is that most blockchain applications have the blockchain as just another component in their architecture and the strengths and weaknesses of each component should be respected and planned for. e.g.: don’t do big data processing on the blockchain

In addition Ingo mentioned the Red Belly Blockchain, an unforkable blockchain built down under.

Blockchain risks, Opportunities and Future scenarios - Mark Staples - Data61

The next speaker, Dr Mark Staples, is also from Data61. 

Dr Staples explores a couple of reports published by Data61 about the future of Blockchain in Australia. These reports can be found here.

What’s changed since these reports:

  • Active interest and growing understanding by regulators
  • Australia leading the ISO TC307 standard on Blockchain and DLT
  • Widespread adoption and benefits yet to come
  • Cryptocurrencies are a double-edged sword for Blockchain and DLT
  • Technological innovation: Distributed Exchanges, Scalability, Privacy…

LoyaltyX - Philip Sheller

The premise for this talk is that loyalty programs are failing to deliver.

Philip came from Qantas’ Frequent Flyer store and knows a thing or two about loyalty programs. 

The basic idea around LoyaltyX is that customers get rewarded in cryptocurrencies. This presents a couple of interesting benefits:

  • They can use the crypto they earn to buy more things at the merchant
  • Since it’s crypto, they are not locked in and can take their rewards and spend them elsewhere
  • But hey, it’s still crypto so they may choose to hold and trade at a public exchange at a later time - maybe for a profit

They ran a private pilot with UNSW merchants and students and the results are promising.

ROI with a stable cryptocurrency - Kevin Kirchman - WorldFree

Kevin presents on FreeMark. It’s an alternative to blockchain technology aimed at providing a stable coin backed by a basket of commodities. One fundamental difference is that in FreeMark you don’t necessarily  know - or care - where your coin came from.

There are lots of startups trying to solve the stable coin problem. I believe it’s absolutely a problem that needs solving but it’s hard to tell at the moment who will come out on top.

Creating and settling agricultural assets on a blockchain - Emma Weston

Emma talked about AgriDigital, a startup whose goal is to enable trust and transparency for global agricultural supply chains. In a nutshell I believe AgriDigital can be described as realtime payments and digital escrow for settlement with farmers. 

The problem they are trying to solve is for farmers to get paid quicker - oftentimes the farmer who sits at the very start of the supply chain doesn’t get paid within any reasonable amount of time. Sometimes they even loose track of their goods upstream - another reverence to the provenance issue.

For this to work it seems Emma needs a stable coin - again, it’s a hot topic - but for their pilot with RaboBank it was simply agreed that one of their tokens is worth 1 AUD so as to validate the technology.

Final panel - Payment Systems - Reserve Bank of Australia

This section was delivered under the Chatham House Rules. It basically means that no-one can tell you who said exactly what.

+I really enjoyed the discussions here. One topic was the issuance of a digital version of the Aussie dollar (DAD) which would enable many types of sophisticated payment systems. While there isn’t a conclusive indication of the future no Retail Reserve Bank sanctioned DAD was envisioned, but an AUD Bank branded ‘Wholesale only” DAD may be possible. I am pleasantly surprised by the level of thinking on this topic from the Blockchain community and the RBA.


Even though cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies aren’t new - bitcoin was created in 2009 - you can see and feel that interest from technologists, the public and regulators has grown tremendously in recent years. 

Blockchain technology, implications and research still have a long way to go but 2018 has started on a really good note and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Highlights of the Symposium on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology - Day 1

Early last week I had the chance to attend the Symposium on Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology organised by UNSW. I wasn’t aware that UNSW was so heavily involved in the community until this event and have since learned about their interest group which has been going on for a while.

The talks had a healthy mix of research and industry case studies with subjects ranging from the technical challenges of current blockchain implementations to the legal implications of distributed ledger technology.

I’m not sure when and if slides will be published so I’ll do my best to summarise the talks and share its highlights. Most likely this summary will reflect my own biases on the subjects which interest me the most.

Day 1

An Introduction to Distributed Ledger Technology - Ron van der Meyden (UNSW)

Ron is the organiser of the interest group and this particular event. In this introduction he gave an overview of what a blockchian is and how it works. A great start for the day!

Ripple - Dilip Rao

Dilip is Ripple’s Global Head for Infrastructure Innovation. Currently with about $94M in funding, Ripple is backed by some fairly big enterprises and banks as well as high profile customers such as Westpac, Santander, BBVA and dozens more.

Ripple has made some interesting trade-offs:

  • It accepts and embraces the fact that banks will not run on a public ledger. It simply won’t happen
    • One of the reasons discussed is the fact that through a combination of various sources and pattern analysis one could figure out trading volumes between banks and enterprises and they are not onboard with that.
  • As such Ripple uses its own private ledger based on the Interledger protocol. Only on-boarded participants - banks - may interact with it. 
    • The product is called xCurrent. It allows banks to settle cross-border in real time.
  • This highlights an interesting fact: banks don’t need the Ripple cryptocurrency (XRP) to settle transactions

The Interledger protocol allows multiple ledgers to communicate. Currently it can communicate with the XRP(Ripple) ledger to provide fast payment channels. Due to this specialised nature, XRP now has the cheapest cost per transaction as well as being the fastest clocking in at 1500 transactions per second. This article has some more information about this.

These are some impressive numbers - effectively they can match VISA’s throughput - and has definitely brought up Ripple into my radar once again.

Ripple also offers another product, xRapid, aimed at enabling realtime payments and on-demand liquidity by using XRP. Dilip offered Cuallix as a case study for this product. Cuallix is using xRapid to reduce the cost of sending cross-border payments from the US to Mexico

P.S.: Just as I was writing this section I came across another article indicating Western Union is doing experiments with Ripple as well.

Blockchain deconstructed : contracts vs smart contracts - Fritz Henglein (University of Copenhagen)

This talk focused on the technical details of smart contracts as currently implemented in platforms such as Ethereum. In particular the fact that the contract rules and its execution are intertwined.

Fritz began his talk with a summary slide on smart contracts which allowed him to expand on the above:

Due to this mixing of rules (contract checking) and execution (contract actions) in the source code - as in Ethereum smart contracts - there is no possibility of having multiple strategies which may be private and can be reused in different smart contracts.

Fritz argues that contract actions - which he called strategies - should be stored separately to the contract rules. In doing so such strategies can be private and re-used in different contracts. He calls this model Managed Contracts which combine the contracts with join execution strategies:

He then moves on to discuss the trade-offs and vulnerabilities of Ethereum smart contracts. I particular he raises these issues:

  • Transaction order dependency
    • Messages may have different effect depending on the order in which they are received
  • Smart contracts may behave differently depending on the timestamp of a block
    • The timestamp of a block is controlled by miners. He raises that this exposes the contracts to clock manipulation attacks. Frankly I’m not sure if this attack can succeed if a single miner is the bad actor. I’d need to think through this but if someone has an example handy, that’d be great.
  • Exception handling and programming language subtleties:
    • Fragile gas management and limited stack 
    • Differences in language constructs such as send vs call
  • Reentrancy bugs

Fritz’s proposal to deal with this are Managed Contracts and he refers to a paper - which he co-authored - called Compositional Formal Contracts. The paper proposes the following properties:

  • Separation of concerns
  • Domain-oriented code
  • Analysable
  • Composable

I couldn’t find a paper with that exact title but did find two papers co-authored by him with a similar title. Here and here. If you know which one he was referring to, please let me know.  

Rightsfusion Pty Ltd - Solara.io - Leon Gerard Vandenberg | slides

Solara has an interesting premise. In the energy space, consumers and traders have difficulty determining & validating green, renewable energy from fossil fuel energy. Solara allows communities and prosumers (producer / consumers) to factionalize or leverage new ownership models and redistribute and/or monetise their energy & their energy data.

In addition, SOLARA Platform aims to provide a proveably green & clean digital solar asset to a variety or energy data exchanges & markets. The concept of a Tokenised ‘Safe Haven Asset Class’ based on a hybrid portfolio of Solara PAT tokens that could be synthesised by quants to eventually provide a stable coin was contemplated by Leon. (refer to Solara White Paper for details on Project Asset Tokens - PAT tokens)

Another interesting aspect is that Solara is looking to provide “fit for purpose hardware” Solara Hardware Modules to bridge the needs of both the metering and the blockchain worlds - think IoT eSIM cards which are also a secure blockchain keystore (wallet).

Leon & team is currently working towards an ICO (private pre-sale for their SOL Token is now on-going) and looking to build out more team members (including University Labs) and RightsFusion will engage in projects for Solar Communities and solar industry participants.

Lastly, Leon mentioned Polymath in the context of ICO investments: Polymath (Canada) is working on a securities token or their ST standard. Because Solara’s PAT Tokens are a type of Financial Product - PAT Tokens could embrace the Polymath ST standard to extend their eventual reach and a broader participation model.

Note: I also got some extra resources about SOLARA straight from Leon.

The power of possibilities - Niki Ariyasinghe - R3/Corda

Niki gives an overview of Corda, an open-source blockchain project designed for building financial services infrastructure.

The project seems to have come about from the need for banks to collaborate and understand what blockchain means for financial services.

Corda displays a couple of intresting properties:

  • It allows for transaction privacy
  • It has a pluggable consensus mechanism allowing consensus algorithms to be chosen at transaction time and not at the blockchain level
    • I don’t know enough about corda but this particular point makes me nervous :)

The highlight of this talk for me is Project Ubin: a project by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to provide Central Bank backed Digital cash with the goal to use Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) to clear and settle payments and securities.

Platform cooperatives - Browen Morgan from UNSW

As per Wikipedia: “A platform cooperative, or platform co-op, is a cooperatively-owned, democratically-governed business that uses a protocol, website or mobile app to facilitate the sale of goods and services”

I didn’t take many notes during this talk but captured a few interesting links:

  • CULedger: A permissioned, private blockchain
  • Loomio: Collaborative decision-making software
  • Provenance: Building trust in goods and supply chain
    • It’s worth noting that the issue of provenance has been mentioned quite a few times during the Symposium

I particularly found ingenious the idea behind the following projects:

Issues for law and the legal profession - Lyria Bennet Moses - UNSW 

The last one for the day, this talk is the one I was looking forward to the most. It explores concerns and legal challenges with using blockchain technology. Although not related to blockchain, our work at MODRON offers many parallels with the themes discussed here.

According to Lyria - and it’s certainly true in non-blockchain tech circles as well such as AI and Machine Learning - people ask if blockchain and smart contracts will replace lawyers. 

Her short answer is no. However certain roles might be replaced. It is already happening in domains such as exchange of documents. Basically she thinks that “the things that junior lawyers do” will be replaced by (blockchain)technology.

In addition she offers certain applications where blockchain might be particularly well suited to disrupt such as Registries and Intellectual Property. In contrast, the problem of Information Sharing in law enforcement was mentioned as one needing a cultural solution, not a technological one.

Additional challenges with smart contracts:

  • Liability for delays and/or errors
    • e.g.: wrong transaction recorded, delays affecting price points…
  • Form of order in, say, land law
  • Jurisdiction - in which jurisdiction are you?
  • Data Protection:
    • The right to change data
    • The right to be forgotten
    • EU law seems to require these properties
  • Regulation
    • Similar issues to when digital signatures started being used for contracts

All the above will also have implications to how lawyers are trained. I love that Lyria mentioned this as I’ve been casting what we do at MODRON under a similar light: our human-centric approach looks to enhance what lawyers can do and over time this will invariably lead to new types of legal professionals.

Lyria’s closing remarks raised the question of wether blockchain even is the thing which will solve these problems. It’s too early to tell but it’s encouraging to see the legal profession as a whole taking the opportunity to re-evaluate how things are done.

What a day! So much to think about and so many great people to connect with. Look out for my summary of day 2!

Mission Accomplished

A year and four months ago I joined Atlassian to pursue a very exciting opportunity: to deliver realtime collaborative editing to Confluence. I have talked about it last year at EuroClojure and this year at QCon Brazil. Even Cognitect wrote a few words about it.

In a nutshell this involved writing Clojure code all day to build an awesome service we call Synchrony. Synchrony is capable of realtime data synchronisation - not just collaborative editing - and as such its applications are many! This has been proven again and again internally during the Atlassian ShipIt hackatons, and externally via Enso.me, which is powered by Synchrony.

Throughout this journey I took on more responsibility and transitioned into the Development Team Lead role. This gave me the opportunity to help drive the product roadmap and vision within the company in addition to leading a very capable team. What an amazing learning experience it has been!


Fast-forward to today and collaborative editing is finally being used by real customers as part of our early access program! It’s been a great journey and we have achieved a huge milestone!

For a more up to date look at Synchrony I highly recommend Haymo Meran’s presentation at this year’s AtlasCamp. Haymo is a friend and one of the original founders of Wikidocs, the company where the technology behind Synchrony was originally developed.

I’m really proud of what we have accomplished and it’s a great moment to look for a change, again :)

The future

Yes, I am leaving Atlassian - last day is June 17th. I’ll be moving on to a new opportunity about which I’m really excited. But that is the subject of another blog post :)

The Clojure Sydney Meetup, Four Years In

In the beginning

Nearly 4 years ago I founded the Sydney Clojure User Group. I had been playing with Clojure for a little while and started a small study group to learn more. Initially this group was private and held at the ThoughtWorks office.

After a couple of meetups and conversations I decided to open up the group to the public and then realised we weren’t the only ones interested in Clojure and, even more important, interested in meeting like-minded people, share experiences and help each other.

Back then none of us used Clojure for anything serious. Apart from Steve. Steve is a brave man and was building his new startup on top of Clojure. This was a great source of inspiration and learning for all of us. Steve hired Harry and Harry told us first hand what using Clojure for work could be like.

For all of us hobbyist Clojurists, this was a great start.

Since then we’ve held 37 meetups with an average of 22.25 attendees per meetup. These numbers won’t impress many people, no doubt about that. What is impressive however is how it’s changed over the years.

Where are we at?

Last December I sent out a survey and the result for one of the questions made me smile. The question was: Do you currently use Clojure in your day job?

This is absolutely amazing. It’s great to see how much the community has matured. Nearly 50% of meetup attendees currently work with Clojure in Sydney! I’m fortunate to say I can include myself towards this milestone!

Going forward

We’re now in 2016 and the group shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, we’re picking up the pace a little and starting the new year with a new venue: from now on we’ll be meeting at Atlassian!

I would like to thank ThoughtWorks for all the support in starting and running the meetup. I wouldn’t have been able to do it if it wasn’t for them.

See you at the next meetup!

So Long 2015: Year Highlights

I should have published this post still in 2015 but as I was on holidays traveling around Australia I didn’t really have the time to do it. Better late than never, right? (also Linode - the provider hosting this site - has been under a severe DDoS attack so the site just came back up today)

2015 has been a unusually quiet year in this blog. Thankfully that is because I have been extremely busy in many other areas. I’d like to take the opportunity and look back at 2015’s highlights.


I started working with Clojure full-time at Atlassian and it’s been a great experience so far. One of the big things we’re working on is bringing collaborative editing to Confluence. However we had the opportunity to put our service to the test with the launch of Project Enso, an Atlassian Labs beta product. Check out this teaser video to get a quick feature run down.


Back in March my book - Clojure Reactive Programming - was finally published. I have written about it before so I won’t dwell too much.

One last note on this though: you can get a digital copy of my book for only $5 as part of my publisher’s (Packt) Skill Up offer. Hurry, offer ends on the 8th of January!


I tend to do a mix of reading, courses and deliberate practice when learning new things. In terms of reading, you can have a look at a few things I read in my Good Reads - 2015 in books profile.

As for courses I decided to give MOOCs a try and am really happy with the courses I picked:


  • R Programming - This is a great source for anyone who’d like to get started with data processing. Even though R isn’t one of my favourite languages I cannot deny how easy it is to start making sense of your data.
  • Principles of Reactive Programming - As I have been into Reactive Programming myself for quite a while this gave me a bit of perspective on what Scala people mean by it. In particular the parts about Actor systems have been really valuable. Additionally the exercises are challenging and do drive the point home.
  • Introduction to Guitar - I have been playing the guitar for a long time now but I have never had any proper education on the matter. I decided to give it a go with this MOOC by Berkeley and am pleased with the results. Especially since I can now put names to things I have done for years :)
  • Leading People and Teams Specialisation - Leadership is a broad area and having been under both good and bad leadership I don’t want to make some of the same mistakes I’ve seen in the past. As such, I am seeking advice from multiple different sources - such as some of the books in my GoodReads profile above - as well as this specialisation. It has 5 courses in total. I’m two in and have enjoyed it so far.


  • FP101x - Introduction to Functional Programming - I picked this course for two reasons: (1) it’s taught by Erik Meijer and I’m fan and (2) as I don’t get to write Haskell all that often I use these courses as practice so my Haskell doesn’t get too rusty. This is an excellent course though if you’re looking to get into functional programming.

I have also been dabbling more and more with Elm and PureScript. But more on that later. Maybe. :)


Another good year in this area. Here’s what I spoke about this year:


In case you don’t know one of my hobbies is weightlifting. Names such as Clean, Clean & Jerk, Snatches and Deadlifts are common in my day to day and 2015 has been a super year for my strength goals. In particular I’ve reached 120kg for my Squats and 140kg for my deadlifts which are my all time goals. For a bit of perspective I currently weigh 69kg.

These numbers are good but they are not elite level. However what makes them impressive - for me anyway - is that four years ago I injured my lower back and was diagnosed with Level 1 spondylolisthesis. My doctor at the time told me I wouldn’t be able to lift anymore and I was extremely down for quite a while. It wasn’t until I switched doctors and dedicated 100% to having proper form that I was able to reach a whole new strength level.

These results make me extremely happy. In case you’re into this sort of thing you can check a short video of my best lifts here.

That’s it

It’s been a great year. Let 2016 be even better!

Happy new year and keep on kicking ass :)

Clojure Reactive Programming Has Been Published

I’m extremely happy to let everyone know my book, Clojure Reactive Programming, has finally been published!

You can get it at the publisher’s website or on Amazon. I had a great time writing it and I truly hope you find it useful!

I’ve met a few authors here and there and I heard more than once that a book is never really finished. I now know what they mean.

The book doesn’t cover everything I wanted to write about due to time and space limitations. Having said that, now that the book is out I do plan to expand on a few things using this blog.

Stay tuned!

Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback on early drafts of the book! :)

So Long 2014: Year Highlights

Another year is about to end and as it is tradition in this blog it’s time to look at the year’s highlights!

Functional Programming

I have been advocating Functional Programming and Clojure for a while now and 2014 has been good to me. It was the first year where I was paid to work almost entirely in functional languages. Most of it was in Scala and a little less in Clojure.

I did have a short 8-week gig in Javascript but even then I tried to make it as functional as possible - e.g.: making use of Reactive Programming techniques (Rx-style)

I’m also thankful for the opportunity to have organised the first Sydney edition of ClojureBridge, a workshop aimed at increasing diversity in the Clojure community by delivering free workshops for women. You can read more about what we did on the day here.

Another bit of exciting news is that I’ve decided to quit ThoughtWorks. Starting in January I’ll be doing Clojure full-time at Atlassian. I’ve written about it here.

I’m looking forward to a very functional year!


Early this year I was invited by Packt Publishing to write a book on Reactive Programming in Clojure. I’ve announced it before in this blog but it is definitely a highlight of this year.

The book has been a while in the making and I had no idea of the amount of effort involved in writing one. I’m mostly content-complete now but working through a number of useful bits of feedback I got from early reviewers. I expect to be done with these in January and then the book should go into production.

I’ll keep everybody posted :)


Most of what I read this year - with the little free time I had - were academic papers and I would like to highlight a few that I particularly enjoyed:

Additionally I can’t help myself and recommend that you read Functional Programming in Scala if you have any interest in FP and Scala. Rúnar and Paul have done a great job and put a lot of good advice in this book.


Between work and writing the book I’m happy I managed to speak this much:


Here’s the Top 5 posts from this blog in 2014:

If this tells me anything it’s that I need to blog more!

Happy new year! Here’s to an amazing 2015!

A New Chapter Begins

Thanks, ThoughtWorks

After 4 years and 8 months I have made the hard decision to change jobs: Friday, 19th of December, was my last day at ThoughtWorks.

In this time I have made many friends and have grown a lot as a professional. Consulting presents so many new challenges that often times the technical problems you are trying to solve are the easiest part of the whole project. I am thankful for that.

I am also thankful for the opportunities I’ve had.

A few years ago I started dedicating most, if not all, my free time to learning Functional Programming. ThoughtWorks supported and encouraged my endeavours in doing so and that is a big part of enabling me to create and grow the Clojure community in Sydney through #cljsyd.

Additionally ThoughtWorks has also recognised the importance of Functional Programming in modern software development and allowed me to work almost exclusively in FP languages such as Scala and Clojure for the past year and a half.

About three years ago I wrote a post detailing my first year at ThoughtWorks. Much of it is still true so there is no point in repeating it. ThoughtWorks remains a great place to work.

What’s next?

My next challenge will be at Atlassian, an Australian Software company best known for being the creators of JIRA, Confluence, Stash and many other products.

Over the years I have met several Atlassians - that’s what they call themselves - and many of them have been heavily involved in the Functional Programming community. So when I was contacted by a friend saying Atlassian needed an experienced Clojure developer I was intrigued.

A few months ago Atlassian acquired WikiDocs, a startup whose business is to build technology that enables real-time collaborative editing. It turns out that this product is developed in Clojure and Clojurescript. That’s essentially what I’m going to be working on - I’ll write more about it once I settle in.

When I started learning Clojure over 3 years ago, little did I know that I’d be working full-time with the language so soon and I am super excited about it. It’s great to see that much effort paying off like this.

My start date at Atlassian is the 5th of January and I am looking forward to meeting a bunch of great people and making new friends.

ClojureBridge Sydney, Vol. I

This past weekend - 19-20th of December - a group of highly motivated individuals gave up their Friday night and their entire Saturday simply to learn how to code in Clojure!

It was the first ever ClojureBridge edition in Sydney and if you haven’t heard of it before, its goal is to increase diversity in the Clojure community. It does so by offering free workshops targeted at beginners.

You should totally read Julian Gamble’s post about the event for details. He’s was one of the volunteers on the day and has done a great job of describing his experiences.

I just wanted to take the opportunity to highlight and thank all volunteers who also gave up their time for free to help and coach 24 people eager to learn Clojure. They are: Alexandra Luca, Claudio Natoli, Julian Gamble, Marcin Nikliborc, Navin K, Scott Robinson, Svetlana Filimonova & Vineeth Varghese.

Without you, the event would not have happened!

A big thank you to our main sponsor - ThoughtWorks - who provided the venue, food, drinks and, of course, Clojure cupcakes.

Another big thank you to Atlassian who gave some cool gifts to our attendees! (Sunnies and hats!).

Last but not least, a huge thank you to all attendees who were absolutely stellar and made the event an amazing experience!

I had a blast organising and running the event and hopefully we will have a new edition soon! I hope it ignited the desire to learn even more about Clojure and Functional Programming!

Happy holidays!


EuroClojure 2014 and Announcing My Book

A bit late for a EuroClojure 2014 post but I suppose “better late than never” applies here.

The best part of every conference is the networking. Meeting new and interesting people is priceless and I did plenty of that - mostly over Polish beer and food. Polish beer isn’t the greatest but if you must have it, better stick to Żywiec. It’s widely available and was the one which didn’t give me a headache :) - I’ve been told there are amazing microbreweries though I didn’t get a chance to try any while in Krákow.

The food on the other hand was excellent every single time. But I digress.

There’s no point in me describing the talks I watched as someone else has already done a much better job of it: it’s all in this gist by Philip Potter.

I gave a talk titled Taming Asynchronous Workflows with Functional Reactive Programming. You can check out the slides here. The video will be available in this link soon. I’ve received a lot of great feedback on it both at the event and afterwards through different channels. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

In this talk I mentioned publicly for the first time* that I am working on a book called Clojure Reactive Programming to be published by PacktPub. It seemed appropriate to announce it here as well.

As of yet there’s no set date but I’m spending most of my free time working on it. I’d say I have 55% of it done. Feel free to ping me directly if you’d like to know more. Alternatively you might want to follow the twitter account I created for the book.

There’s not much there yet but I’ll try and post book updates somewhat regularly.

See you around.

* Strictly not true as I’ve announced it before but this was the first time for a wider Clojure audience and the first time captured on camera so there’s no denying now ;)