Why Elixir is the Programming Language You Should Learn in 2024

In this article, we’ll explain why learning Elixir is an ideal way to advance your growth as a developer in 2024. What factors should you consider when deciding to learn a new programming language? 

Well, it typically depends on your project or career goals. Ideally, you’d want a language that:

  • Is enjoyable and straightforward to use
  • Can meet the needs of modern users
  • Can offer promising career prospects
  • Has an active and supportive community
  • Provides a range of useful tools
  • Supports full-stack development through frameworks
  • Offers easily accessible documentation
  • Helps you grow as a programmer

This article will explore how Elixir stacks up against these criteria. 

Elixir is fun and easy to use

Elixir is fun and very user-friendly, which is an important long-term consideration. Its syntax bears a striking resemblance to Ruby. It’s clean and intuitive, making coding simple.

When it comes to concepts like pattern matching and immutable data, they become your trusted allies and simplify your work. You’re also surrounded by a supportive and vibrant community, so you’re never alone in your journey. Whether you’re building web apps, handling real-time tasks, or just experimenting, Elixir makes programming enjoyable and straightforward, without any unnecessary complexity.

How Elixir can meet modern usage demands

Elixir’s strength in handling massive spikes in user traffic is unparalleled, thanks to its foundation on the BEAM VM, designed explicitly for concurrency.

BEAM Scheduler

While digital transformation brings about increased pressure on systems to accommodate billions of concurrent users, Elixir stands out as a reliable solution. For those curious about concurrency and its workings, our blog compares the JVM and BEAM VM, offering insightful explanations. 

Major players like Pinterest and Bleacher Report have recognised the scalability benefits of Elixir, with Bleacher Report, for instance, reducing its server count from 150 to just 5. 

This not only streamlines infrastructure but also enhances performance, allowing them to manage higher traffic volumes with faster response times. The appeal of a language that delivers scalability and fault tolerance is great for navigating the demands of today’s digital landscape.

Elixir’s rewarding career progression

Embarking on a career in Elixir programming promises an exciting journey filled with learning and progress. As the demand for its developers rises, opportunities for growth blossom across various industries. Mastering Elixir’s unique mix of functional programming and concurrency equips developers with sought-after skills applicable to a wide range of projects, from building websites to crafting complex systems. Plus, with more and more companies, big and small, embracing the programming language. As developers dive deeper into Elixir and gain hands-on experience, they pave the way for a rewarding career path filled with growth and success.

When Elixir first emerged, its community was small, as expected with any new technology. But now, it’s thriving! Exciting events like ElixirConf in Europe and the US, EMPEX, Code Elixir LDN, Gig City Elixir, and Meetups worldwide contribute to this vibrant community. 

This growth means the language is always evolving with new tools, and there’s always someone ready to offer inspiration or a helping hand when tackling a problem.

Elixir’s range of useful tooling

Tooling makes languages more versatile and tasks easier, saving you from reinventing the wheel each time you tackle a new problem. Elixir comes equipped with a range of robust tools:

  • Phoenix LiveView: Enables developers to build real-time, front-end web applications without JavaScript.
  • Crawly: Simplifies web crawling and data scraping tasks in Elixir.
  • Ecto: A database wrapper and query generator for Elixir, designed for building composable queries and interacting with databases.
  • ExUnit: Elixir’s built-in testing framework provides a clean syntax for writing tests and running them in parallel for efficient testing.
  • Mix: Elixir’s build tool, which automates tasks such as compiling code, managing dependencies, and running tests.
  • Dialyzer: A static analysis tool for identifying type discrepancies and errors in Erlang and Elixir code, helping to catch bugs early in the development process.
  • ExDoc: A documentation generator for Elixir projects, which generates HTML documentation from code comments and annotations, making it easy to create and maintain project documentation.

Elixir frameworks allow for full-stack development

Given its scalability performance and its origins in Erlang, it is no surprise that Elixir is a popular backend choice. As mentioned above, Phoenix LiveView has provided an easy, time-efficient and elegant way for Elixir developers to produce front-end applications. 
Also, the Nerves framework allows for embedded software development on the hardware end. As a result, this is a language that can be adopted throughout the tech stack. This doesn’t just make it an attractive choice for businesses; it also opens up the door for where the language can take you as a developer.

Elixir’s easily accessible documentation

In a community that values good documentation, sharing what you know is easy. Elixir is all about that – they take their docs seriously, which makes learning the language easy. And it isn’t just about learning – everyone can jump in and help make those docs even better. It’s like a big conversation where everyone’s invited to share and improve together.

Learning Elixir can make you a better programmer in other languages

Many developers transitioning from object-oriented languages have shared their experiences of how learning Elixir has enhanced their programming skills in their main languages. When you dive into a new purely functional programming style like Elixir, it makes you rethink how you code. It’s like shining a light on your programming habits and opening your mind to fresh ways of solving problems. This newfound perspective sticks with you, no matter what language you’re coding in next. And if you’re a Ruby fan– Elixir’s syntax feels like home, making the switch to functional, concurrent programming super smooth.

While everyone has their reasons for picking a programming language, these are some pretty solid reasons to give Elixir a try in 2024 and beyond.

Ready to get started in Elixir?

Getting started is simple.

Begin by visiting the official “Getting Started” page. Additionally, you’ll find a host of free downloadable packages from our team at Erlang Solutions, available for Elixir.

To immerse yourself in the community, ElixirForum is an excellent starting point. You can also explore discussions using the #Elixirlang and #MyElixirStatus hashtags on Twitter.

Curious to learn more about what we do with the Elixir language? Keep exploring!

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