12 December 2018

Capitalising on Clojure to support AI-led crop forecasts

By Cervest

Capitalising on Clojure to support AI-led crop forecasts

At Cervest we are building technology to support the agri-food ecosystem and regenerate our planet. We contend that science has the answers and that innovation has a key role to play in our success. As such we have also taken an innovative and forthright path in choosing Clojure as our technology stack.

As we look around at our contemporaries in London, we see our choice reflected back at us; innovative new companies within our sector and without have also adopted this technology. Signal, USwitch, Metail to name but a few are already with us at the vanguard. Others across Europe and North America are choosing this ecosystem as well. Clojure adoption is early by many standards, but innovators in London, and elsewhere, have bet on it. And so have we.

The annual international Clojure Conj held in late November in the US underlined this trend. There we found exciting stories of success and innovation – with Clojure – from around the world. Immediately afterwards, Clojure eXchange in London strengthened the story. There is no doubt that the language and its stack is relevant, powerful and well respected.

Clojure is capable of best-in-class performance in many arenas. The way in which the language puts data in the centre of everything is perfect for our needs – enabling us to process a huge volume of complex natural capital data. We acquire and store a lot of this data. We need to prepare and present this data to our data scientists. We also need to surface a lot of results and domain information to our clients.

In Clojure, data is at the core of everything the software engineer does. Data is Code. Code is Data. It’s all Data. Using this paradigm, across our business, without adding technologies is a huge advantage. ClojureScript even allows us to build our user interfaces in the same way, using the same syntax. Our developers do not need to context-switch or shift paradigm. From the top of the stack to the very back end, we have a consistent environment. The economies of effort are huge.

Clojure also attracts high calibre professionals; thoughtful, innovative people who tend towards elegant thinking, and coherent solutions to problems. Clojure is a language that rewards consideration in advance of action. Companies, like us, that adopt it are making a powerful statement about their engineering culture.

As we move into the next phase of our company’s life, Clojure is there to depend on. We are enlarging our Engineering team, and Clojure is a genuine draw. We are releasing products we could not have built in so timely a fashion with other technologies. The next phase of our platform is not a daunting prospect. Clojure gives us the confidence to be proactive, while minimising risk – a priceless advantage.

Note: about Clojure

Clojure is a Lisp programming language, a Lisp that runs on the JVM. The result is Functional programming within the Enterprise foundation of the Java ecosystem. Clojure provides a route to using the elegance of Lisp, and the power of FP in the Enterprise. It also offers a wealth of existing libraries and tooling from Java. These opportunities deliver power, performance, security, reliability and maintainability in equal measure.

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