In the latest edition of our ‘starting out with Elixir’ series, I’ve gathered two of Elixir’s biggest advocates together to talk about getting started with Elixir, learning tips, and the current state of the Elixir market.
Brooklin Myers - Host - Elixir Newbie Podcast
Check out the podcast here: https://open.spotify.com/show/2VNf2tvHIjSxTXMY15qtdV
Marco Milanesi - Elixir Engineer/Trainer at Taxfix, the app that helps millions of people do their taxes in an easy and fast way.
I’ve been developing in Elixir for about four years, more or less, and I got into programming when I was a teenager.I was bored with Python, and Elixir brought me fresh ideas and a general feeling of things being done right.In my free time, I make some attempts in writing short stories, and sometimes I produce music tracks. Check out the Taxfix Elixir course here: https://github.com/taxfix/elixir-course
Getting Started in Elixir
Hayden: Marco, as someone that cross-trained into Elixir a few years back, how did you find that experience? Do you remember any specific challenges when you switched technologies?
Marco: I was fascinated by Elixir’s cheap process creation capabilities and kick-started my personal studies of the language and the platform. OTP was the key “technology” or framework that was attracting me.
To tell the truth, I wanted to learn Erlang initially. However, an ex-colleague of mine at that time suggested looking into Elixir. (And I was like, what the hell is Elixir?!)
hen I began studying and practicing the language by myself, I felt that it was the right moment to enter the Elixir world in a work setting because the requirements for having an Elixir job were minimal. For instance, no production experience was required to apply for an Elixir role.
Nowadays, the situation has changed. There are many more Elixir job opportunities, at least in the Germany/Berlin market, and the skill level required to jump into the BEAM world is diverse.
I got my first Elixir job by going to the Elixir meet-up in Berlin, where I met a person that introduced me to a company that was doing Elixir.
In my opinion, companies should hire at least one experienced Elixir developer and let the “passionate” (with no production experience) Elixir developers develop themselves inside the company.I would suggest usingonline materials to educate them and help them evolve in Elixir mixed with concrete tasks.It would also be useful to structure a good on-boarding and a learning/progression path.
Regarding my personal challenges, I really struggled to switch from the OOP mindset to the functional or concurrent mindset. I had a job during the day and was trying to study and exercise during the evening. I even stopped learning Elixir for about threemonths because I was not seeing the end of the tunnel (i.e. getting an Elixir job). However, I eventually resumed my studies, went more frequently to the Elixir meetup here in Berlin, and I also felt “ready” to make the jump into the BEAM world. The key aspect was meeting someone already working with Elixir—that event was the r