As part of my quest to actually embrace Elixir as a working language for myself, I’ve taken a number of avenues:

  • conference
  • blog reading
  • blog writing
  • podcasts
  • books - currently up to 3; new favorite Elixir in Action

A big part of the learning effort in any language is not just the language but the ecosystem as a whole. You would correctly note that I’ve written relatively little elixir as of late. As much as I’m still grokking the whole functional stuff, I’m also trying to understand the ecosystem. Things like:

  • who the key people are
  • the package system
  • relevant technical standards
  • trying to get my head around core Erlang concepts
  • conferences
  • application areas where Elixir shines
  • phoenix
  • phoenix presence - more important than I had ever suspected
  • how testing works

Any programming language these days is the sum of its parts. A great language can be crippled by a horrible package ecosystem or a great package library could be crippled by the language itself (cpan / perl). And since I’ve spent 10+ years in Ruby now, I’m looking for my next “10 year language”. And to make that type assessment means “look at the language of course but then look at everything”.

One of the things that I haven’t done is explore screen casts. A lot of what I know about Rails, I know from the late, lamented RailsCasts by Ryan Bates. Back in 2007 or so it seemed like Ryan was changing the world with RailsCasts and for a lot of us, he really did. Watching someone quickly and easily get ajax running in 2008 when it was still mysterious seemed like magic. So its accurate to say that I have a lot of love for the medium of screencasts.

So when I found ElixirSips by Josh Adams, its fair to say that I was pretty damn overjoyed. And then I started digging in and I was initially disappointed. Being a beginner, I wanted to start at the beginning so I hit one of the free podcasts near the start and I had, well, issues. So I did it again. Same thing. And then again.

Finally I drafted an email to Josh Adams and said what amounts to “Dude - am I dumb or does your stuff not really work?”. And much to my surprise I got a fantastically written email owning up to the problem and actually agreeing. What he said was that he has a strong audience with ElixirSips that has moved past the intro stuff and he doesn’t want to let them down by taking the time to update the early work – even though he knows he’d make more money by doing just that. Wow. Now that’s customer service and loyalty to your installed base. Dang! So heres what I did:

Subscribe!

Does it meet all my needs as an absolute newbie? Today, no. However Josh is listening which is key and I think he’s going to get there. Recommended