The Elixir programming language turned ten this year, and it’s our 10th season of the Elixir Wizards Podcast! We celebrated the occasion by inviting luminaries from the Elixir community to discuss the first decade and hypothesize the future. The Season 10 guests offered insights into an ecosystem ripe with innovation and opportunities in machine learning, security, DevOps, and more.
As technology rapidly evolves, the Elixir ecosystem is poised for significant growth and transformation, presenting opportunities and challenges. Elixirists are enthusiastic about a future shaped by Elixir's strengths in concurrency, distribution, and scalability, all fostered by a global community committed to learning, mentorship, and collaboration.
The Elixir community is well-prepared to meet these challenges thanks to a focus on education and knowledge-sharing. With a culture of open collaboration, a growth mindset, and a shared passion for the language, Elixirists are optimistic and eager for what's to come.
Elixir Wizards Sundi, Owen, and Dan kick off the season and introduce the season theme: "The Next Ten Years of Elixir." They reflect on the Elixir programming language's evolution and how the use cases have expanded beyond web development.
To imagine where we're going, we look back at how we got here. Each host shares their Wizard origin story, initial introduction to Elixir, and why they love the language. They explore concepts they're looking forward to discussing in-depth, such as types, machine learning, new LiveView features, and the incredibly supportive and welcoming Elixir community!
Cory O'Daniel, CEO of Massdriver, joins Sundi and Owen for a lively conversation about the future of Elixir DevOps. They discuss the history of deployment with Elixir and Erlang and how DevOps has changed over the past ten years.
Cory highlights Elixir's suitability for cloud infrastructure and distributed systems, multi-cloud, cloud agnosticism, and hybrid cloud concepts. He anticipates a future in which automation and efficient processes free programmers from operational tasks to focus more on coding.
The founder of paraxial.io, Michael Lubas, joins Elixir Wizards Owen and Bilal to share insights on securing Elixir applications now and in the future. He explains common risks like SQL injection and cross-site scripting and how cyber security experts raise awareness and prepare for potential threats that might arise.
While Elixir's immutability and tracing capabilities make it attractive for security, open-source risks and dependencies can threaten applications. Testing, auditing, and training materials allow Elixir developers to identify vulnerabilities and fortify their applications.
Sophie DeBenedetto, co-author of Programming Phoenix LiveView, joins Elixir Wizards Sundi and Owen to discuss newly released features in LiveView and how they expand the scope of what can be delivered. She emphasizes the community commitment to education and documentation and how tools like LiveBook will shape Elixir's future.
She encourages Elixirists of all experience levels to share knowledge through various channels, including conference talks, Livebooks, and blog posts. Every member of the Elixir community has a hand in building the future of the language, and the inclusive and supportive atmosphere sets a foundation for exciting things to come.
Elixir Wizards Owen and Dan chat with Mike Waud, Senior Software Engineer at SparkMeter, and Tony Winn, Lead Software Architect at Generac, about the future of the BEAM in the electric grid.
Mike and Tony highlight the benefit of Elixir in their industry, where reliability, concurrency, and scaling are critical. While a mix of old and new technologies poses challenges, Elixir's portability makes it ideal for conservative organizations. The guests look forward to a future grid empowered by more distributed energy generation and data processing at the network edge.
Mat Trudel, creator of the Bandit Web Server, joins Owen and Dan to discuss the implementation of HTTP/3 support in Phoenix and other web transports. HTTP/3 promises changes through features like multiplexing, but compatibility is still a challenge.
Mat encourages developers to push boundaries through projects like his Bandit web server, which helps test web protocols. He urges more contributions to open source to drive innovation and help projects thrive.
Saša Jurić, author of Elixir in Action, joins Wizards Sundi and Owen to discuss the challenges new Elixir developers face in learning functional programming, concurrency, and new tooling. While Phoenix generators provide a starting point, adapting and customizing templates to suit individual needs improves code quality. Static typing can enhance documentation but still has limitations. Jurić emphasizes mentorship, refactoring, and embracing different opinions within code teams to foster learning and growth.
José Valim, the creator of the Elixir programming language, joins Sundi and Owen to discuss the future of the Elixir ecosystem. He explains how Elixir's extensibility allows the ecosystem to evolve through community contributions with minimal changes to the core language.
Open source contributions will continue shaping the language and tools available to developers. Potential additions like a gradual type system and Elixir Nx for machine learning will enhance the ecosystem while maintaining backward compatibility.
Hugo Baraúna, founder of Elixir Radar, and Lucas San Roman, senior software engineer at Felt and moderator for the Elixir Discord server, join Sundi and Owen to discuss the future of the Elixir community. They celebrate the welcoming and collaborative atmosphere and how events, newsletters, and online spaces like Slack and Discord connect Elixirists worldwide.
Projects expanding Elixir's capabilities indicate a community focused on stability and innovation. The introduction of a type system and Livebook's new team features will enable more advanced collaboration. But the warm and helpful culture is the crucial component that will drive the success of Elixir for years to come.
Sean Moriarity, author of Genetic Algorithms in Elixir and creator of the Axon Library, joins Elixir Wizards Sundi and Bilal to discuss machine learning and AI with Elixir. He clarifies the differences between approaches like artificial intelligence, neural networks, and genetic algorithms.
Elixir's deployment, development, and real-time processing make it a good fit for ML tools. Sean's Axon library builds on Nx for deep learning in Elixir, and his work on interfacing LiveView with ChatGPT indicates the potential for integrating large language models into Elixir applications. Elixirists look forward to how ML could enhance everything from code generation to educational tools.
Phoenix core team members Chris McCord and Jason Stiebs join Sundi and Owen to discuss the latest updates and the future of Phoenix and LiveView. The pair express excitement about how machine learning, distributed systems, and AI will likely improve the user experience of Elixir applications.
Community contributions and issue tracking help the framework to evolve and improve. Phoenix's future hinges on technological advances and spreading the word to increase awareness.
The Wizards wrap up Season 10 with esteemed trio José Valim, Guillaume Duboc, and Giuseppe Castagna who are working to introduce robust set-theoretic types to the Elixir programming language. While the project is still in its early stages, the collaborative spirit and quest for balanced creativity exemplify Elixir's welcoming culture and set the foundation for long-term success.
The team aims to focus on the diverse needs of Elixir users, insights from formal theory, and the reality of an evolving language. The discussion highlights how Elixir's strengths from immutability to extensibility foster opportunities like rigorous typing. This work examines the core principles of type-safe programming and contemplates the complex cultural and adoption factors of evolving Elixir in a way that retains its joyful simplicity and flexibility.
The conversation itself models the community philosophy of learning through sharing ideas openly, a hallmark of the Elixir journey thus far -- from the unanticipated challenges that emerge to the unbridled enthusiasm for solving them together with patience and purpose.
With characteristic wisdom, candor, and collegiality, José, Guillaume, and Giuseppe show that the secret to Elixir's continued innovation lies as much in its community as its code.
This season’s conversations shed light on Elixir’s huge growth potential in the next decade. Collaboration and a growth mindset define the Elixir community, fostering adoption of new concepts and innovative ideas. This mentality ensures Elixir will remain at the cutting edge of technological advancement. From emerging security and machine learning trends to web development, DevOps, and core language architecture, Elixir is well-positioned to expand its use cases and enrich the developer experience.
The next ten years will build on the strong foundation set by this awesome community. Together, we cultivate joy and connection through code while solving challenging problems. A spirit of hope and possibility animates Elixir's future. Rainbow hearts to the first ten years of Elixir! We're excited for what's to come!