Shawn Vo on Elixir as a Competitive Advantage

About this Episode

Published December 29, 2020 | Duration: 38:57 | RSS Feed | Direct download
Transcript: English

To beat out their competitors, startups need to code quickly, simply, and in a language that attracts top engineers. Enter Elixir. Today we speak with Shawn Vo, Axle Payments Co-Founder and CTO, about his journey with Elixir and how it has given his company a competitive advantage. We open our conversation by exploring how Shawn got into coding while automating his work as an investment banker. After touching on why he sees programming as a superpower for adding value, he shares his growth hacks for learning a language — these range from reading old books to attending coding meetups. We then dive into Axle Payments’ business model, with Shawn highlighting the business opportunity of creating tech for industries that “people don’t think about.” A key theme in this episode, Shawn talks about how building in Elixir has helped Axle Payments hire the best engineers. We also discuss how Elixir allows them to quickly and efficiently write code that doesn’t break. Near the end of the episode, we explore Shawn’s browser extension projects and why he has a readme file to help guide people who want to work with him. Be sure to tune in to hear more insight from Shawn on the benefits of using Elixir in the startup space.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introducing Axle Payments CTO Shawn Vo.
  • From investment banking to coding, hear how Shawn got into our industry.
  • Why coding and creating content are top ways of creating value.
  • Reading books and getting into the fundamentals; tips on how Shawn learns a language.
  • Shawn shares details about his professional career.
  • How Shawn grew his skills by attending coding meetups.
  • Hear about Axle Payments’ model providing a factoring service.
  • How Shawn discovered and fell in love with Elixir.
  • Why Elixir has given Axle Payments their competitive advantage.
  • Shawn reflects on his first Elixir project.
  • The benefits of using event sourcing to build your app.
  • Why Shawn created a readme to guide people who want to work with him.
  • Shawn summarizes why Elixir is the perfect language for his company.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Shawn Vo on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/shawnvo/
Shawn Vo on Twitter — https://twitter.com/shawnvo
Shawn Vo on GitHub — https://github.com/voshawn
Shawn Vo Email — [email protected]
Axle Payments — https://www.axlepayments.com/
The Technical Cofounder Newsletter — https://technicalcofounder.substack.com/
Meryl Dakin — https://twitter.com/meryldakin
WALL-E — https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0910970/
Barclays Investment Bank — https://www.investmentbank.barclays.com/
The Climate Corporation — https://www.climate.com/
The Monsanto Company — https://www.cropscience.bayer.com/
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation — https://www.fdic.gov/
Deep Learning NYC — https://www.meetup.com/Deep-Learning-NYC/
Baltimore AI Meetup — https://www.meetup.com/Baltimore-AI/
Fast.ai — https://www.fast.ai/
Megabus — https://www.megabus.com/
Greyhound — https://www.greyhound.com/
Techstars — https://www.techstars.com/
Peter Thiel — https://www.forbes.com/profile/peter-thiel/
WeWork — https://www.wework.com/
Paul Graham — http://www.paulgraham.com/
Y Combinator — https://www.ycombinator.com/
‘The Python Paradox’ — http://www.paulgraham.com/pypar.html
Heroku — https://www.heroku.com/
Sessionizer — https://sessionize-me.herokuapp.com/
Hamilton — https://hamiltonmusical.com/new-york/home/
Slack — https://slack.com/
Phoenix — https://hexdocs.pm/phoenix/overview.html
Commanded — https://hexdocs.pm/commanded/Commanded.html
The Social Dilemma — https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11464826/

Special Guests: Shawn Vo and Sundi Myint.