Elixir and Erlang with Jose Valim


“Functional programming is about making the complex parts of your system explicit.”

Elixir is a programming language built on top of the Erlang virtual machine. Elixir allows metaprogramming, polymorphism, and a web framework called Phoenix that has drawn positive comparisons to Ruby on Rails.

Jose Valim is today’s guest. He built Elixir to augment a language that he loved–Erlang. On Software Engineering Daily, we interviewed Joe Armstrong, the creator of Erlang, which was a very popular show–I encourage any listeners who are fans of Erlang to check it out. Erlang was built with concurrency in mind, and it has been rising in popularity as more of our applications are written to be distributed. In today’s episode we will discuss what Jose is building on top of Erlang.


  • What are the strengths of Erlang?
  • Why is the programming world becoming more interested in concurrency, distributed systems and functional languages?
  • Can you contrast how errors are handled in Erlang and Elixir, compared to other languages?
  • What was the reason for building Elixir? What did Erlang lack?
  • Elixir compiles to bytecode for the Erlang VM – what does this mean?
  • What is meta programming?
  • How is the adoption of Phoenix and where is it headed?


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