Mike Waud and Tony Winn on the Future of Elixir on the Grid

About this Episode

Published April 20, 2023 | Duration: 42:41 | RSS Feed | Direct download
Transcript: English

Elixir Wizards Owen Bickford and Dan Ivovich are joined by Mike Waud, Senior Software Engineer at SparkMeter, and Tony Winn, Lead Software Architect at Generac, to discuss the future of the BEAM in the electric grid, how their companies use Elixir, and the challenges they face in implementing cutting-edge technologies in an environment with a mix of old and new systems.

Both guests have backgrounds in various programming languages before turning to Elixir for its functional programming capabilities, concurrency, and reliability. Elixir's portability allows it to be used in various environments, from cloud-based systems to more conservative organizations that prefer running software off the cloud.

Key topics discussed in this episode:

• Technology sophistication varies across different regions and industries
• BEAM's reliability, concurrency, and scaling in electric grid systems
• Using Elixir for caching, telemetry, and managing traffic spikes
• Elixir fits well for devices due to its fault tolerance and supervision trees
• Observability with telemetry hooks for understanding system performance
• Traffic patterns in the grid space are often dictated by weather and human activity, requiring efficient handling
• The balance between using Elixir/BEAM and other tools depending on use case
• Using Elixir tools like Broadway to work with event queues and Nebulex for distributed caching
• The future of the electric grid and its evolution over the next 10 years, including a shift towards more distributed energy generation
• Global lessons about grid management, solar penetration, regulations, and energy storage
• Prioritizing data in IoT systems and processing data at the edge of the network
• Gratitude for open-source contributors in the Elixir community

Links in this episode:

SparkMeter: https://www.sparkmeter.io/
Generac: https://www.generac.com/
SmartLogic - https://smartlogic.io/jobs
Gary Bernhardt's talk on functional core and imperative shell: https://www.destroyallsoftware.com/talks/boundaries
Joe Armstrong's Erlang book: https://pragprog.com/titles/jaerlang/programming-erlang/
The Nerves podcast and documentation: https://nerves-project.org/

Special Guests: Mike Waud and Tony Winn.

Transcript (English):