Juxt and why you should use them
I spent a lovely sunny afternoon having a chat with Malcom Sparks of Juxt. Juxt are a small team of Clojure programmers trying to build a consultancy around building software. I think the project is deceptively important and I hope I can explain why.
Clojure is a Lisp so people always assume I'm biased towards it. In fact, the reverse is true. Lispers are nearly always really hard to please about what a Lisp is. Actually, we just tend to be hard to please.
The thing that is interesting to me about Clojure is the emphasis on immutability. This is a very important concept for improving software production. We have all seen how immutabile deployment, championed by NetFlix et al, have made delivery at speed natural, even easy.
Immutability at micro level, affecting how engineers practice writing code, is similarly ground shifting. Particularly it increases the ease with with reliable sofware can be made. On the face of it, good software gets cheaper to make. The trouble is, Clojure programmers are few and far between. No one has industrialized Clojure yet.
Juxt is such an effort. They are techies, it's clear. They are master programmers, that's also clear. They're not Accenture. They are not going to deliver 200 people to your site next Wednesday. They're not even ThoughtWorks, who might deliver 10 programmers, 2 project managers and a DevOps guy to your site next Wednesday.
Instead I think they're something more important than that. They are programmers employing programmers to do work with the best tools. If you ask Juxt to deliver your project, it might take them a month or so to have people in place. But those people will get into place because Juxt are about doing work in the most interesting ways. And note, the most interesting ways are the mostly quickly reliable.
The core of Juxt is some principal level characters who really understand the nitty gritty of big software development. All people who have delivered many big projects. And the important thing is that they can pull on this very flexible pool of people who want to work with them and in this way.
Juxt face problems, of course. Their sales pipeline is always going to be difficult. Because they're programmers, not salesmen. For some reason business people who have software problems rarely act rationally in finding solutions so Juxt are going to have to rely on technical people realizing their value.
I hope that happens. It's such an efficient way to get software written.