Elixir Wizards Podcast

An Elixir podcast from SmartLogic; conversations with software developers from around the world on the Elixir language and other modern web technologies.

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Elixir Wizards is an interview-format podcast, focused on engineers who use the Elixir programming language. Initially launched in early 2019, each season focuses on a specific topic or topics, with each interview focusing on the guest's experience and opinions on the topic. Our hosts as of Season Eleven are Owen Bickford, Dan Ivovich, and Sundi Myint.

Have a great season topic idea, guest suggestion, or other feedback? Email it to us at [email protected] or tweet at us @smartlogic, we love hearing from our listeners.

Note: Our transcript writers aren't technical experts — if you see any errors in the show transcripts, you can submit a pull request and we'll happily make the updates!

Jump to a season: Season One: Elixir in Production | Season Two: Elixir Internals | Season Three: Working with Elixir | Season Four: Application and System Architecture | Season Five: Adopting Elixir | Season Six: BEAM Magic | Season Seven: The Impact of Elixir | Season Eight: Elixir in a Polyglot Environment | Season Nine: Parsing the Particulars | Season Ten: The Next Ten Years of Elixir | Season Eleven: Branching Out from Elixir

Season Eleven: Branching Out from Elixir

In Season 11 of the Elixir Wizards podcast, we venture beyond the familiar shores of Elixir to engage in cross-community dialogue, compare notes, and broaden our horizons. This season is dedicated to understanding how Elixir integrates, contrasts, and can potentially synergize with other prominent technologies in the software world.

With engaging discussions involving seasoned Elixirists and experts from diverse tech communities such as JavaScript, Ruby, C++, and more, we aim to debunk myths, share insights, and discover mutual learnings. Key conversations revolve around the varied methodologies, best practices, and unique approaches offered by different languages and frameworks.

Whether you're an Elixir enthusiast curious about the world beyond or a tech professional from another domain eager to explore common ground, this season promises enriching takeaways for all. Dive in to bridge gaps, challenge norms, and celebrate the confluence of ideas in the ever-evolving tech universe.

Season Eleven began airing in October 2023.

Season Ten: The Next Ten Years of Elixir

In Season 10 of the Elixir Wizards podcast, we delve into "The Next Ten Years of Elixir," exploring the future of DevOps, cyber security, cloud infrastructure, and machine learning. This season is a comprehensive exploration of the opportunities and challenges Elixir faces in the coming decade.

Conversations with industry experts, including Elixir creator José Valim, highlight the community's commitment to education, the evolution of Phoenix and BEAM, and the advent of types in Elixir. We also discuss the role of tools like liveBook and HTTP/3 in the ecosystem's growth.

Season Ten began airing in March 2023.

Season Nine: Parsing the Particulars

The theme for Elixir Wizards Season 9 is "Parsing the Particulars." Hosts Sundi, Owen, Dan, and Bilal take a deep dive into the intricacies of Elixir development. The Wizards explore critical aspects of the Elixir programming language, including: observability, GenServers, geomapping, Phoenix LiveView, Oban, Tailwind, and Nerves.

Inherently, language is about communicating ideas and communicating ideas is like abstraction essentially, right? When you think about what a programming language is, it's a general abstraction over computation
- Chris Miller in S09E12 Crafting a Programming Language

Season Nine began airing in September 2022.

Season Eight: Elixir in a Polyglot Environment

Season Eight aired from April 2022 through June 2022.

Our theme in Season Eight is Elixir in a Polyglot Environment. We'll be talking with our guests about how Elixir is used in context with other languages, how they play nicely (or not) together, and how teams manage context switching, constrain complexity, and generally think about how Elixir works within their overal product infrastructure.

Season Seven: The Impact of Elixir

Our theme in Season Seven was The Impact of Elixir — examining the history of Elixir programming, and the change that it has had on programming in different areas of the software development industry. We spoke with our guests about the impact of Elixir on their careers and in their organizations, as well as broader cultural and technological contexts.

Season Seven aired from November 2021 through February 2022.

The part that was fascinating to me when I got into Cars.com was to realize what the business actually is: it’s a huge ETL pipeline of different data points.
— Angel Jose in S7E2 on Re-Platforming One of the Original Dot Coms

Season Six: BEAM Magic

The theme of Season Six was BEAM Magic — taking a look at what gets handled under the hood with Elixir, other languages that run on the BEAM, and talking about how much magic is the right amount — there are a lot of strongly held opinions on this, that are reflected in how much “magic” is included in different programming languages.

What is hidden by programming languages? How do developers find varying levels of hidden functionality to be alternately useful or problematic — or maybe both! Season Six aired from May - Aug 2021.

We wanted to build fault tolerant systems, and things are going to go wrong. They always do. You need to just accept the fact things are going to go wrong. How can you build systems that can handle errors?
— Robert Virding in S6E1 on The Roots of Erlang

Season Five: Adopting Elixir

Our theme for season five was Adopting Elixir. We spoke with technology leaders at product companies, consultancies, and on internal technical teams about their companies' journeys to adopting Elixir (or not adopting Elixir). Season Five aired from December 2020-March 2021.

You don't have to convince your company to make a wholesale switch to Elixir if you can just deploy something — something that adds value and you can get people using that. You can make an incremental change.
— Shaun Robinson in S5E13 on Using Elixir to Empower Online Learning

Season Four: Application and System Architecture

In season four our theme was Application and System Architecture; we talked with guests about how they think about design vs architecture, domain driven design, umbrella apps, and more.

The really important thing that architecture should do is carve out a safe space so you can build your essential complexity. And that safe space is where I want to work in.
— Mark Windholtz in S4E14 on Domain-Driven Design

Season Three: Working with Elixir

In season three our theme was Working with Elixir, encompassing Functional Programming, Hiring/Training, and Performance. The season ran from November 2019 to April 2020.

Challenging them, pushing them and still giving them enough information to figure something out and to get that win and to fix that bug or solve that problem or get to that next level of understanding – I think that’s how you can really teach someone to fall in love with coding.
— Sophie DeBenedetto in S3E10 on Training and Building Elixir Projects Under Constraints

Season Two: Elixir Internals

In our second season, released from July-September of 2019, we focused on Elixir Internals; we talked with developers behind some of the most popular Elixir libraries, including Witchcraft, ElixirScript, Distillery, Ecto, and more!

Contributing back to libraries both forces you to read how other people are writing code and collaborate with other people.
— Brooklyn Zelenka in S2E1 Elixir Internals on Witchcraft

Season One: Elixir in Production

Our first season, released from February-April of 2019, focused on Elixir in production and featured conversations with engineers who have live production apps built with Elixir. We talked about why Elixir, implementation details, libraries, patterns, and tips for real-world applications. Take a listen to the trailer embedded below or click in to any of the episodes in the list to listen to season one.