Functional Geekery Episode 123 – Zach Tellman

In this episode I talk with Zach Tellman. We talk his introduction to Clojure, how he has noticed Clojure change over the past 10 years, his book Elements of Clojure, and more.

Our Guest, Zach Tellman

Zach’s website
@ztellman on Twitter

Conference Announcements

CodeBEAM STO, formerly Erlang User Conference, celebrates the 20th Anniversary of Erlang being made Open Sourced, and will be taking place May 31st and June 1st. For more information and to register visit

Monadic Party, a 5 day Haskell Summer School, will be taking place in PoznaƄ, Poland the 11th-15th of June. Visit for more information and to register.

The 2018 Racket Summer School will run July 9th – 13th at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, and to apply visit

BusConf will take place for the second time from August 2nd to August 4th in Germany, close to Frankfurt. For more information and to register visit:

Compose::Melbourne will be taking place Monday August 27th. Visit to keep updated as more details are announced.

International Conference on Functional Programming 2018 will be taking place September 23 – 29th in St. Louis, MO. For more information, and to register visit:

StrangeLoop 2018 will be taking place September 27th and 28th, with a pre-conference day on the 26th in St. Louis, MO. To keep updated as details become announced you can find out more at:

(eighth RacketCon) will take place September 27th and 28th in St. Louis, Missouri, along side ICFP and Strange Loop. For more information, and to register visit

The Big Elixir Conference will be on November 8th and 9th in New Orleans. Visit for more information and to register.

If you have a conference related to functional programming, contact me, and I will be happy to announce it.


Some of you have asked how you can support Functional Geekery, in that vein,
Functional Geekery now has a Patreon Page.

If that is one of the ways you would like to show your support, you can
find out more at

Topics [@5:25]

About Zach
Elements of Clojure
C# Delegates
C++ STL Library
Jane Street
Early days of Clojure and how it has evolved
Ability to plant a flag in the Clojure eco-system
Lessons from when to wrap something in Clojure vs just inter-op with the Java library
“Clojure as the connective tissue”
The Joy of Clojure
Programming Clojure
Clojure Programming
Wizard hat and special incantations
Zach’s overview of Elements of Clojure
Strunk and White’s The Element of Style
Being stymied when trying to answer “Why is your way better than mine?”
First Chapter on Naming
“Clojure being used as a lens to understand the fundamental questions of software”
Elements of Software
What it means to think about thinking about software
Proof of Correctness of Data Representations by C A R Hoare
“Have we created a representation of a problem that is valuable given what we are trying to do”
Church Numerals

As always, a giant Thank You goes to David Belcher for the logo design.

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