How rich is Rich Hickey?

After Clojure – richer, for sure. If Rich Hickey’s life line is a persistent list, there should be ways to track the value of values.

Rich Hickey (2009). Photo: Tapestry Dude

Rich Hickey (2009). Photo: Tapestry Dude

Hickey is the new Messiah of software development. Watch and listen to his talks, and you will understand. And the title is of course just plain stupid, put there just to try to lure you in as a reader.

Rich Hickey's first commercial software, a patch editor.

Rich Hickey's first commercial software, a patch editor.

As to Hickey’s biography there are not much to be found on the Internet. He is not yet found notable by Wikipedia.

Doing the Google dance and looking at his presentations, you get a sketchy impression about Rich Hickey as …

  • the author of the programming language Clojure (2005) and designer of the database Atomic (2010)

  • with more than 20 years of experience as a software developer in various domains such as scheduling systems, broadcast automation, audio analysis and fingerprinting, database design, yield management, exit poll systems and machine listening1

    • and the programming languages he has used seriously is C, C++, Java, C#, Common Lisp and Clojure2
  • he taught C++ at New York University for a little while[ref]Interview in[/ref]

  • and has been working mainly as an independent contractor

  • but then joined Cognitect as CTO in 2013[ref]Cognitect press release[/ref]

  • with music composition as major in college

    • being a fan of composer Béla Bartók and saxophone player John Coltrane[ref]Hickey talks about design, composition and performance[/ref]

    • writing his first commercial piece of software in 1987, a patch editor for the Atari ST and Korg DW/EX 8000 synthesizer, while teaching himself C and assembly language[ref]Hickey’s talk about Clojure and Harmonikit.[/ref]

    • having guitar as his main instrument

Some of Hickey’s best presentations