For the past month or so I’ve been considering jumping into Elm (seemed to make sense since I’m currently doing frontend stuff at work). But through my link travels, I ended up back into a group of pages about Elixir.

I’ve never programmed in a functional language before, but I’m expecting that my mind will like it since I tend to think that way with JavaScript to some point and Linux command line is that way (start with something and pipe it into something else and so on).

But who knows. :)

Making A Decision

Sometimes making a decision in the dev space can be so difficult because you want to do it all. There’s also a little tug-o-war going on between hobby and future employment (or using something at your current job).

And for me the other thing is, “Yeah, that’s cool, but what can I build with it?”

After some back n forth, I decided to take the plunge into Elixir. I’m really excited to learn it and get Phoenix going as well.

Two YouTube Talks

It was Friday night after work and time to party right? Yeah, Friday night conference watching party! :)

I ended up watching two talks on YouTube around Elixir that got me excited.

Talk one: Elixir Conf 2014 - Writing Command Line Applications with Elixir by James Smith

I like command line as much as the next dev. James pointed out some cool things in this talk and it got me excited to write some command line goodness with Elixir.

Talk two: 18 Months of Elixir in Production at Bleacher Report

This was more of a webinar about how Bleacher Report went away from RoR and into Elixir/Phoenix land. Quite impressive. I liked hearing about dev happiness, challenges they had and all the great details presented. It’s about an hour long, but I recommend checking it out.

Learning Path

I may do things out of order, but I went out and bought a book to get started (and bookmarked a couple sites to use in conjunction).

BOOK:

Programming Elixir 1.3 by Dave Thomas

This book had some good reviews/discussion from various sources and I liked that it was current (or as close as possible). It was $25 and still being updated as I was reading it (bought it in “early access” form).

I’ve just finished chapter one and I’m liking it. I plan to do a review of it on this site.

Elixir In Action is also on my list, but I decided to start with Programming Elixir 1.3 and go from there.

SITES:

  • Elixir - main site
  • Phoenix Framework - main site for Phoenix Framework – for later
  • Exercism - challenges in many languages. I thought this might be good to help me learn Elixir.
  • Elixir Awesome - I love a good “Awesome” list. This one is loaded with stuff. I can’t wait to go through it all.
  • Elixir Forum - Found this forum when looking for book comments. The comments on the book thread I read were very helpful, so I’m hoping this is a good place to spend some time.
  • Elixir Slack - I joined the Slack group.

SETUP

  • Installing Elixir - Pretty simple. If you’re on a Mac, you can just “brew update” (or “brew upgrade” first) and then “brew install elixir” to get started.

  • Open up your terminal and type iex at the prompt to get into the interactive Elixir shell.

You should then see something like this:

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Erlang/OTP 19 [erts-8.0.2] [source] [64-bit] [smp:8:8] [async-threads:10] [hipe] [kernel-poll:false] [dtrace]
Interactive Elixir (1.3.2) - press Ctrl+C to exit (type h() ENTER for help)
iex(1)>

Now try this:

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iex(1)> 4 + 8

You should get back 12.