Elixir: Power of Erlang, Joy of Ruby by Dave Thomas

I don’t get to as many conferences as I would like. This year it looks like I’m only going to PHPNW (again), largely due to an expanding family 🙂 and work commitments 🙁

But to get around this, I try to watch a talk a week on YouTube.

Up until now I’ve only really tweeted about talks sporadically, but I figured some are so good they warrant a little more than 140 characters can provide.

This week I watched: LoneStarRuby Conf 2013 – Elixir: Power of Erlang, Joy of Ruby by Dave Thomas

This is partly because of Hacker News. I am a total sucker for following all the trends on there. Thankfully the relentless / weekly JavaScript framework fad has calmed down on there now, so I’m becoming a little more adventurous.

Lately, there have been more and more threads (yes, this was a poor attempt at an Erlang pun) and I’ve been wanting to at least see Erlang / Elixir / Phoenix in action.

As you might have guessed, I’m a fan of video learning, especially when I’m first getting started. It’s so much easier to see some high level ‘stuff’ rather than have to read pages and pages of text. The text is inevitable, in my opinion, but I like to read it only after seeing it.

Now, my general knowledge of the Ruby community is that there’s some guy called @dhh who is quite the racing driver, and then there’s a bunch of cool cats who code in Ruby. Yup, and that’s about me all out of Ruby knowledge.

Oh, I also remembered that Ruby sometimes makes Vagrant hard to use, and also Sandi Metz (whose talks are awesome btw).

But I must admit, my knowledge of other key figures in the scene are none existent.

The upshot is, I really had no idea who Dave Thomas is, prior to watching this talk. But after enjoying his talk, and doing a little digging, thankfully he seems to have tons more to see. Awesome.

There are two really nice parts to this video / talk.

The first: live coding. Full credit. That’s scary, and difficult to pull off.

I actually like it when things don’t quite go to script in live coding sessions. It reveals more than a scripted section can, as you often get to hear their spoken thought processes. There’s a good live debugging session in here, and I found that insightful.

The second: I kinda don’t want to spoil this for you. But when Dave uses pmap towards the end of his talk (35m mark onwards)… wow. That was so, so cool.

I am genuinely curious as to whether Erlang / Elixir with Phoenix are going to be a good fit for me. My next step is to take the tutorials. After watching this video I can’t wait.