MyTopdogStatus by Simon Benitez
by Simon Benitez
Meet Simon, one of the talented developers from our team in The Americas.
How did you start working on the BEAM?
I’d heard a lot about functional programming. I love building complex projects. I saw a fantastic demonstration at a conference and it looked like functional programming was the best way to do the kinds of projects I liked. I tried a number of other functional programming languages, but none of them felt right. When I found Erlang and Elixir, I just found my ‘happy place’.
What’s your favourite part of working on the BEAM?
Working with the BEAM makes development more precise. I like coding with immutable data; it means you’re always thinking about how to transport your data into the format you need. It is a way of thinking that helps you focus on what you’re trying to deliver, what you need to do and how you need to do it. It also helps when you’re designing systems, because when you’re reading and writing a line of code, you don’t need to worry about other lines of code in the system changing its behaviour. The end result is that you can build something that works every time, you know that what you’re building can handle spikes and loads, you don’t need to be nervous on days like Black Friday.
What’s your biggest underdog success story working on the BEAM?
I’m currently working on a project to hack network protocols, which has been really challenging. Because I come from a web-development background, I hadn’t had much experience in networking, but with the support of our team and the ease of the technology we use, I have been able to push myself and create something I am really proud of.
What’s your favourite part of working at Erlang Solutions?
I wanted to start working with Erlang and Elixir, and Erlang Solutions was one of the major companies working with the languages. I also love the open-source work Erlang Solutions does; it’s really cool to work with a company that puts its time and money where its mouth is and supports the open-source community.
I get to work with big companies, like Toyota Connected. The nice thing about working with bigger projects is that you are always learning and growing. There are great managers and leadership, which helps make you a better developer. Working with smaller start-ups on front-end projects can feel like you are always doing the same basic tasks. With the projects I work on, they’re more complex, you need to meet unique challenges.
What excites you most about the future of the BEAM?
I think it would be great to see Erlang used to scale artificial intelligence projects. Erlang is perfect for scaling, and AI needs a lot of processing, with Erlang, you can process more data in less time.
Are there any industries that you think could benefit from moving to the BEAM?
Anyone using Java right now!
Now let’s talk about your dogs, introduce us to them?
I have three great dogs, Kiro, the Siberian Husky, Pluto, the Labrador cross and Jack, who is a rescue.
What’s your favourite way to spend a day with them?
I love taking them out to play with other dogs around the rivers and streams.
What’s your favourite thing about your dogs?
They’ve all got such unique personalities. It’s kind of like having three dumb children. Pluto is the crazy one who just needs a lot of attention. Kiro is the oldest, so he’s kind of like the grumpy older brother, and Jack is a rescue, so he’s the shy one, but he’s really humble.
Do you love Erlang, Elixir and dogs? Then don’t miss any of the action from #MyTopdogStatus. Head to our hub page for more profiles from the team, videos from the community and blogs about who is using Erlang and the companies using Elixir.
Want to join the pack?
We’re always looking for amazing talent to join our team, head to our careers page for open opportunities and apply to the one that suits you.