June 10, 2015
The snowball effect has just started. While the ball remains quite small, it is still big enough to be seen and it will reach full speed soon. If you don't want to find yourself in an avalanche, you should start preparing today and see what's going on in the Elixir world.
You can feel the atmosphere from the perfectly written blog post by Piotr Solnica:
Rails may kill Ruby because many smart people are leaving Ruby or have already left Ruby. I know many of those people and I already miss them. Somebody told me on twitter that it won’t happen, that maybe “just experts will leave Rails/Ruby”. I’m sorry but if a given technology makes experts leave it because of serious technical issues then I no longer understand what this is all about.
It happens in the industry from time to time. Why do successful companies fail - this lecture, given in 2007 by Ed Catmull from Pixar, is still valid and - I guess - will be valid forever. It hit me strong when thinking about the case of Nokia - the biggest, the strongest, the most innovative company in the mobile phone industry has easily been eaten alive by Apple and Android phones in just two to three years. The rest was just agony. And I think it could be the same with Ruby and Rails. It's necessary to watch that lecture if you haven't yet - it's very instructive.
I won't list the wrong decisions made and the people who are leaving. You can notice them from time to time on twitter and blogs. Or won't if they quit silently, but the list will constantly grow - I promise you. Don't get me wrong, I won't say that Rails is a bad framework or Ruby a bad language. I still love them both. I've learned a lot thanks to them and I've made huge improvements since my first day joining the Ruby community. But the world is moving forward and Rails is not going to fulfill our needs.
So, the question is - what will?
I attended ElixirConf.eu in April, the same time that RailsConf was happening. So while DHH was announcing ActionCable, I learned about a company who moved from multiple tools to a single one - Elixir.
Verrrry interessssting... I need to check this stuff out. RT @jimfreeze: #ElixirConf pic.twitter.com/sBq4IE65sv— Dave Liggat (@dliggat) April 24, 2015
About 95% of attendees came from the Ruby world. I spoke with many of them and each were speaking the same way - they're looking for something better. They're tired of Rails' monolithic design, struggling with thread safety and heavy processes.
And Elixir seems to be a perfect solution for us, tired Rubists. Beautiful syntax, functional paradigm, successful Erlang VM, incredible performance, dozens of very smart people behind it - this is just the tip of the iceberg and the reason why a lot of devs are so excited already.
If you need to catch exception go back to Java. Or whatever.
During the conference I heard a story from guys who were able to stop worrying about cache completely - Elixir was so fast! About a painful - at first sight - migration because of missing tools, but also about the ease of building support for them or replacing them with a better toolset. I saw real enjoyment about the possibilities and pleasure of hacking around - e.g. playing with lego robots. I enjoyed every talk and, for me, it was the most inspiring conference I've ever attended.
#ElixirConf has a similar vibe to Ruby confs of ~10yrs ago. Excitement. Cool stuff being hacked on. Very thought provoking and energising.— Matt Southerden (@mattsoutherden) April 24, 2015
You will love the fail fast strategy. You will love pattern matching. You will love pipe operator. You will love Ecto and Phoenix. You will love compilator and no more runtime errors. You will love Erlang Processes and how easy it is to just run something in the background.
Next year we're definitely going to Berlin for ElixirConf.eu 2016. And we hope to be ready to share our success stories then. For now just watch the video recordings from Kraków and dive into the language. You won't regret.
And you will never want to go back.