A year after the first European Elixir conference, the language doesn't rule the world just yet. Nonetheless, the recent edition of the conference shows that alchemists are on the right way to making it happen. Let me explain why.

340 participants, nearly 4k downloads per day of Phoenix, 2 milion websocket connections on a single server.

And a room full of Ruby developers looking for a better option.

Sure, Ruby is still cool. Even if the main project goes in the wrong direction, great developers still prove that we can create amazing things in Ruby.

Why then did I meet a lot of Rubyists looking for an opportunity to switch full-time to Elixir? Some of them have succeeded already and none of their customers are regretting the switch. Here are a few of my post-conference thoughts.

Firstly, Elixir as a language is already very mature. The current focus for José and other contributors is to simplify complex elements and give even more power into your hands. Getting to such a state was possible to achieve so quickly thanks to a great Erlang foundation and cooperation between communities, instead of any kind of competition. Elixir - mixed with beauty inspired from Ruby, open minds for the best features from other worlds and José's vision - provides us with a perfect base for the next several years.

Secondly, the ecosystem is rapidly growing. Hex already contains more than 2k packages and you will find mostly everything that you need. People coming from other environments create missing stuff, sometimes adding additional features that compare to the original. Like the linter Credo, which won't only show you errors but also teach you about them.

Last but not least - Elixir opens a completely new market for you. It can not only do everything that Ruby does well, but also gives you awesome support for distributed systems with concurrency. It's a natural fit in game servers and embedded systems (hello IoT!), but it is just a matter of time until developers realize the possibilities and ways to fully take advantage of it.

And it is a perfect match to the reactive programming approach on the front-end, which is very popular these days.

Worth noting is how alchemists are aware of struggling with the separation of concerns and creating a proper architecture in the application. I really like the chosen route by Ecto and it was a great pleasure to watch the Phoenix Is Not Your Application talk - separating business logic into an OTP application looks like a great and elegant solution.

I would recommend that you watch every talk when they become available. Use cases, new patterns, tools, upocoming possibilities - great content for everyone who wants to jump into the Elixir world.

Enough said - see you at ElixirConf.EU 2017 in Barcelona. In the meantime, happy hacking!

Jan Dudulski avatar
Jan Dudulski