Episode 18

EMx 018: Devon Estes: “All In On Elixir”


September 11th, 2018

54 mins 40 secs

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About this Episode


  • Charles Max Wood
  • Mark Ericksen
  • Josh Adams
  • Eric Berry

Special Guest: Devon Estes

In this episode of Elixir Mix, the panel talks to Devon Estes. He is an American programmer located in Berlin, Germany. Devon is coaching on Elixir, and his background is on Ruby Rails. Check-out today’s episode to hear how passionate Devon is about the Elixir program, and what he loves about it.

Show Topics:

3:58 – Devon finds that the process of writing helps him find “bugs”. He tries to write once a month on various topics, such as what he has learned, and his freelancing work.

4:50 – One of the panelists says that he also writes, too, and how it helps him process what is going on. He treats it like a research paper, because he wants it to sound coherent.

5:43 – Devon used to work in PR and Marketing. What he learned from those fields is that: visibility creates opportunity.

7:19 – When you choose the technology, it’s about how easy previous resources to help support that if it’s the right tech. Finding Elixir developers is hard to find. Elixir ahs been that way for a while, but actually it is becoming the new and improved Ruby. You get the 10X productivity, but you aren’t held up by some factors. Have you ever had finding work in Elixir?

8:22 – Devon: Not in the last year-and-a-half. Being a freelancer, stay visible, because you are constantly looking for different projects, and so on. There are other countries out there where Elixir is more prominent than compared to the United States. Companies in San Francisco are having a hard time finding Elixir developers to work with them.

10:31 – How was your transition from Ruby to Elixir and your writing projects? How did you go down that path?

11:07 – Devon: The more I wrote in Elixir the more he liked the program. Ruby inspired Elixir, for sure. He likes how it’s comprehensive to him, and how productive he is with Elixir. For Devon, it fits well with how he writes code; and because he’s happy, his clients are happy, too. Elixir’s language fits well with his way of thinking and there are other benefits for Devon by working with Elixir. Devon likes feeling productive and it fulfills his needs. Finally, he also really enjoys the Elixir community!

16:51 – What do you not like about Elixir?

16:55 – Devon: He found his first thing he doesn’t love about Elixir, and he found it today, of all things! Listen to this timestamp to see what Devon shares.

20:47 – Question asked for Devon: How are other languages doing that, and what can we do to make that happen?

20:53 – Check-out Devon’s answer!

24:11 – Digital Ocean’s Mid-Roll Advertisement

24:48 – Devon continues his answer from 20:53. Programmers talk and, when more people are having certain experiences, the word is going to get out. The flexibility of the language is going to be great in the long run. Great sales pitch.

26:47 – Josh, you have a lot of experience of the years, pushing the eco-system, have you seen a pick-up from that or has it grown, how have you seen your involvement in these projects helped with the awareness...

27:19 – Josh: I don’t know how much of an influence I have, but it has doubled almost every year. Of course, this won’t happen every year, and at some time it will plateau. Elixir is rapidly growing now, though.

28:09 – Question to Devon: Let’s talk about your project, Fast Elixir.

28:16 – Devon talks about how he got involved with Fast Elixir and how it developed.

31:19 – Let’s talk about Benchy.

31:28 – Devon: We are very proud of it. Devon continues in detail about the before-mentioned question.

36:30 – Question to Devon – Let’s talk about reductions, so people can understand it better.

36:41 – Think of a reduction that it’s one thing the virtual thing does. It has a counter, and it does a certain number of things before it needs to take a break. That’s the most basic unit. One reduction is one instruction and it counts that. That’s how it manages its internal scheduler.

38:20 – Chuck: When you adopted Ruby did you feel the same way about it like you do about Elixir. Chuck says, “I totally get it...” It’s more a learning opportunity for Chuck. Have you found the next best thing? Or...

39:06 – Devon was an opera singer for a while, and studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Check out his full bio in LinkedIn, and other social media profiles. As Devon became an advanced programmer he started to develop his programming skills. He tried JavaScript, but the language didn’t appeal to him. The more he experienced in different programs, he found that the bigger picture for him boiled down to the community aspect for him. He could have fallen in-love with Clojure, but he’s not quite sure. Finally, it basically was the Elixir’s language and the community that he likes.

45:05 – It’s neat to see the progression that you went through.

45:25 – Let’s do picks!

45:30 – Code Badges' Advertisement!

46:11 – Picks!