Experience Report: Hiring for Clojure(Script) is Easy

  1. The results
  2. Conclusion
  3. Related resources and experiences

Published originally at the Telia Engineering blog.

Update Jan 2020: Added "Related resources and experiences".

Our experience shows that hiring people for a Clojure(Script) project is relatively easy (in Oslo, Norway) despite a market where demand exceeds supply. But it is important to use the right channels to reach the right people.

As I have written previously in From JavaScript to Clojure(Script): Writing a webshop, again, we have started a new project based on Clojure an ClojureScript. I hypothesized that hiring people knowing or willing to use these languages will be easier than hiring for Java. Others were skeptical so, in the best tradition of our team, we decided to resolve the dispute with an experiment. If we managed to get sufficient positive response and (start to) hire one full-time employee within 2 weeks then we would proceed with this language choice.

We have published the announcement via the international Clojure mailing list, the #clojure-norway Slack channel, the Oslo Clojure Meetup, and via Finn Jobs, a local job-finding site.

The results

We got about 15 local candidates within a very short time. A few with production Clojure(Script) experience, most with hobby experience, a few with none. A few of them were really experienced people. All wanted to join us because of our language choice. All seemed quite passionate.

All but one came from the Oslo Clojure Meetup. The international mailing list yielded one candidate plus a few foreigners willing to move to Norway (if we provided visa sponsorship) and a few people from Norway living outside of Oslo (and not willing to move).


The economies of Scala hypothesis, i.e. that it is easier to hire for a niche language with passionate user base than for a mainstream language, seems to hold. But it is crucial to use the right channels to reach relevant people.

Paul Graham’s The Python Paradox argues that you could get smarter programmers to work on a Python project than you could to work on a Java project - because people don’t learn Python because it will get them a job; they learn it because they genuinely like to program and aren’t satisfied with the languages they already know.

Worth noting that in our experience, hiring has gotten way easier for us since we became an Elm shop. We really struggled to hire React engineers (who have a zillion positions to choose among - why would they pick ours?), whereas there seem to be a lot more great programmers who want to use Elm than there are companies hiring for Elm positions.

Our Head of Talent said she’d never seen an inbound pipeline as strong as ours, and the #1 reason people cite for wanting to apply is Elm. The "Python Paradox"[0] is real!

Tags: clojure nettbutikk hiring

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