Erlang with Joe Armstrong


“Mutable state is the root of all evil.”

Erlang is a functional, concurrent programming language that was originally designed within Ericsson in the 1980’s. It was built to support distributed, fault-tolerant, non-stop applications suitable for telecommunications infrastructure.

Joe Armstrong is one of the designers of Erlang, and the chief architect of the Open Telecom Platform (OTP), a framework for building Erlang applications.


  • Why has Erlang persisted as such a popular tool for communications platforms?
  • In the domain of telecom, what were the valuable features of languages like Lisp and Prolog?
  • How did Erlang germinate?
  • Can you give a high level description for how someone using Erlang should be thinking about concurrency?
  • What are the advantages of functional programming languages?
  • Why did object oriented programming become so prevalent and so widely used?
  • How has the Erlang community changed over time?


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