Chapter 1Have a Beginner's Mind

If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few.

—Shunryu Suzuki

Over the past thirty years many popular programming languages have more in common with each other than they have differences. In fact, you could argue that once you have learned one language, it's not difficult to learn another. You merely have to master the subtle differences in syntax, and maybe understand a new feature that isn't present in the language that you're familiar with. It's not difficult to call yourself a polyglot programmer when many of the top languages in use today are all so similar.

Clojure, on the other hand, comes from a completely different lineage than most of the popular languages in use today. Clojure belongs to the Lisp family of programming languages, which has a very different syntax and programming style than the C-based languages you are probably familiar with. You must leave all of your programming preconceptions behind in order to gain the most from learning Clojure, or any Lisp language in general.

Forget everything you know, or think you know about programming, and instead approach it as if you were learning ...

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