Erlang

Elixir Highlights 2019 - Best Of The BEAM.

by Erlang Solutions

Elixir is a relatively young, but rapidly maturing technology. This year, new organisations discussing the use of Elixir in their tech stack (such as retail giants PepsiCo) showed the continued adoption of the language from a commercial perspective. Meanwhile, the emergence of Phoenix LiveView showed growth in the technologies capabilities. LiveView offers the promise of web applications without JavaScript for Elixir developers.

Stack Overflow Developers Survey 2019 reflected the ongoing upward trajectory of the language, with Elixir featuring as one of the most popular languages, it was also one of the top 10 most loved languages, and listed as one of the best paid.

2019 felt like a turning point for closer collaboration between the Erlang and Elixir communities, with both languages benefitting from the development of The Erlang Ecosystem Foundation, and the Telemetry library.

From Machine Learning to IoT and connected devices, there were also a vast array of impressive examples of Elixir being used in some of the biggest growth sectors in technology. As these areas continue to grow and shape development, it is both exciting and important that we develop and share in-production examples of how the fault-tolerance, reliability and developer community of Elixir can provide ideal solutions.

With so many great conference talks, webinars, guides and podcasts shared throughout the year, it is understandable that you may have missed some. To help inspire you and spread the stories worth sharing, we’ve curated our Best Of The BEAM 2019 list for Elixir.

Top Elixir Resources 2019

Phoenix LiveView Release

The release of Phoenix LiveView was a game-changer in late 2018, and it continued to be a largely influential story this year. Chris McCord showed off how Elixir Developers can build real-time, interactive web apps without JavaScript using Phoenix LiveView at ElixirConf EU. He also joined the team at Elixir Talk podcast twice over the course of the year in episode 140 and episode 157 to discuss the library.

Tetris in Phoenix LiveView

One fantastically fun example of Phoenix LiveView in action is this version of Tetris. It’s fully playable and looks great. We’ve got Sandesh who developed this game as our first webinar guest in 2020. He’ll be doing a live coding demonstration of a new and improved version of the game. You can register for the webinar here.

Who is using Elixir

From Pinterest to PepsiCo, we took a look at some of the biggest names using Elixir in their tech stack. The article offers a high-level explanation of who is using Elixir, what features they are using and the results they are getting. With companies in travel, online gaming and FinTech, it is clear to see the broad scope of companies that can benefit from Elixir. Read the blog here.

Telemetry

The Telemetry library is an open source interface for telemetry data. It aims to unify and standardise how libraries and applications on the BEAM are instrumented and monitored. The project was developed by Arkadiusz Gil, representing Erlang Solutions, in conjunction with the Elixir core team and is continually being evolved by an active and passionate community. You can find Telemetry on GitHub and read more about it on our blog announcing its release.

Machine learning

Machine learning can help businesses obtain a substantial competitive advantage by reducing operating costs, building business insights and improving conversion rates. In an eCommerce environment, machine learning can lead to a significant improvement in ROI. Our team used their experience building a machine learning platform to develop this helpful guide. You can learn how Elixir can be used for machine learning at our blog.

Elixir makes you a better programmer

As we mentioned in the introduction, Elixir was amongst the best-paid technologies for developers in 2019, according to StackOverflow’s developer survey. Learning Erlang and Elixir is valuable for many reasons, one of which is that it will give you a fresh perspective that improves the way you solve problems in other technologies. It is an important message to share to help us spread the language to more members of the broader developer community. This article by Alec Brunelle is an excellent example of how learning Elixir can make you a better developer in any language.

Elixir for IoT

IoT offers a deluge of opportunity to developers, and Elixir’s concurrency makes it a great choice for IoT projects. In just his second Elixir project, James Every was able to connect over 100,000 IoT devices to a single server. Watch his talk from Code Elixir to see the power of Elixir for connected devices.

Tracing in Elixir

Many Elixir developers are still missing out on the benefits of tracing. Gabor Olah, one of the expert developers in our team, explained the options available for tracing in Elixir and debunked common myths in his guide that is sure to help you master the art of tracing. Read the article and reap the benefits.

Broadway by Platformatec

Broadway is a tool that will help developers build concurrent, multi-stage data processing pipelines by allowing them to consume data efficiently from different sources, including Amazon SQS and RabbitMQ. Using Broadway, you can cut down the time to build pipelines while also avoiding many of the common problems that can arise when doing so. Watch Marlus Saraiva, from the Plataformatec R&D team, discuss Broadway at ElixirConf this year here.

Live coding webinars with Bruce Tate

Bruce Tate joined us for a live coding webinar in May 2019 to show off how to get the most out of OTP. Over 240 Elixir programmers joined us for an incredibly popular demonstration, and the feedback was so overwhelming that he joined us again in September to do a live coding demonstration of how to use a GenStateMachine in Elixir.

Concurrency for Elixir

As the popularity of Elixir has grown, so has the community of developers who have transitioned from object-orientated programming. Many people are aware that Elixir offers a world-class concurrency model, without understanding how it achieves these results. This article from Sophie DeBenedetto does a fantastic job of explaining concurrency with the incredibly relatable example of laundry. You can read the article here.

Parsing from first principle

Saša Jurić’s live coding demonstration at WebCamp 2019 was incredibly well-received, and with good reason. The talk shows a methodology for parsing simply and efficiently and will be particularly helpful for experienced programmers who are not familiar with the concept of parsing. Watch it here.

Summary

2019 was another incredibly exciting year for Elixir, with more large scale commercial companies showing off in-production examples of its use in their tech stack. We expect this to continue into 2020 with the Elixir core team and The Erlang Ecosystem Foundation, both developing working groups to create libraries and tools which make it even easier to use. The newly established BEAM room at FOSDEM is also likely to create a fresh batch of developers from other languages with interest in Elixir. As with Erlang, the growth of FinTech, digital banking, blockchain, IoT and machine learning all provide exciting possibilities for the language to expand and deliver excellent commercial results. If you’d like to stay up-to-date with all of our news, guides and webinars next year, please join our mailing list.

You may also like:

Best of Erlang 2019

Best of RabbitMQ 2019

Best of FinTech 2019

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