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The Thinking Elixir Podcast

Welcome to the Thinking Elixir Podcast! The show has weekly episodes where we talk about the Elixir programming language and community around it.

Whether you are already experienced with Elixir or just exploring the language, this show is created with you in mind. We discuss community news, Functional Programming, transitioning from OOP, coding conventions, and more.

Guests visit the show to help challenge our assumptions, learn about new developments and grow in the process.

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Recent Episodes

#075 RabbitMQ and Commanded at Simplebet with Dave Lucia

November 30, 2021

We talk with Dave Lucia about Simplebet’s use of RabbitMQ and Commanded for solving unique real-time problems. We learn how Simplebet uses Elixir when creating real-time sports betting markets. We also learn what CQRS systems are, how the Commanded library supports that in Elixir, and how Commanded pairs well with RabbitMQ. Dave talks about moving away from Kafka to RabbitMQ and how that made sense for their use cases. Also valuable, Dave shares where they have found the “dragons” in their design. A helpful discussion that helps identify when CQRS systems might be a tool to use when solving our own problems. Also, Simplebet is betting on SurfaceUI for front-end design in a big and interesting way as well!

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/075-rabbitmq-and-commanded-at-simplebet-with-dave-lucia

#074 New to Dev or Elixir and Women in Tech with Miki and Kate Rezentes

November 23, 2021

We talk with mother/daughter team Miki and Kate Rezentes about their experiences learning and working with Elixir and as women in the tech industry. Miki presented “Greasing the Wheel of Adoption” at ElixirConf. Her focus was on the people aspect of adoption and we had a great time going deeper on that topic here. Kate, who is just starting her career as a developer, talks about ways we can share tech with the young people around us. We get their ideas and suggestions for ways to support women in tech, young people learning tech, and more!

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/074-new-to-elixir-and-women-in-tech-with-miki-and-kate-rezentes

#073 Elixir at Supabase with Paul Copplestone

November 16, 2021

We talk with Paul Copplestone, founder and CEO of Supabase. Supabase leverages the power of Elixir, Postgres, and more to create an OpenSource Firebase alternative that brings these powers to the Jamstack community. We cover TechCrunch’s coverage of their funding and how Paul considers Supabase as “the easiest way to use Postgres”. They offer a row-level security feature and we dig in to understand that. We go deeper on how an OpenSource company got VC funding and how their business model works. Paul shares how Elixir, Phoenix and PubSub solve some hard problems that other ecosystems just don’t handle and how Supabase helps those other communities get some of those benefits using the tools they already selected. Some interesting features are that you can self-host if you want, swap out different components, and the permissive licenses. It really seems to embody the OSS ethos. Great to learn about another company using Elixir to create a lot of business value!

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/073-elixir-at-supabase-with-paul-copplestone

#072 TypeCheck with Wiebe-Marten Wijnja

November 9, 2021

We talk with Wiebe-Marten Wijnja about his project TypeCheck that provides a new kind of runtime type checking for Elixir applications. The syntax builds on your existing spec types so it still works for dialyzer but adds additional compile time created checks. It also works for generating property based test data. This feature comes out in a new ability called “spectest”. Like doctests, you can have automated checks that verify the function adheres to the spec! We also cover how TypeCheck allows writing type declarations for other libraries like Ecto and Plug. There are some interesting ways for people to contribute! A very interesting library!

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/072-typecheck-with-wiebe-marten-wijnja

#071 LiveView and the 7-GUI Tasks with German Velasco

November 2, 2021

We catch up with German Velasco then talk about how he learned of the 7-GUI Tasks online challenge and how he wanted to see how LiveView could approach it. We talk about his ElixirConf presentation and how the idea of modeling state impacted his solutions to these problems. We go over what these common UI patterns are and how LiveView is able to approach them differently. We talk about Chris McCord’s idea of “Live Apps” and how LiveView really is different from what other languages and communities can do. We discuss using LiveView to implement UI patterns that it wasn’t designed for and how that process has gotten better over time and much more!

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/071-liveview-and-the-7-gui-tasks-with-german-velasco

#070 PardallMarkdown with Alfred Reinold Baudisch

October 26, 2021

After a big news section, we talk with Alfred Reinold Baudisch about his project PardallMarkdown. It’s a reactive Elixir server that reads markdown files, compiles them to HTML, stores them in an ETS table, and serves them up. It’s a different take on serving markdown files for a blog. It can also be used as a wiki and supports deeply nested hierarchies. An interesting feature is it can be used as a library inside your own Phoenix application to provide blog posts or other “static” content.

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/070-pardallmarkdown-with-alfred-reinold-baudisch

#069 Elixir on Mobile with Dominic Letz

October 19, 2021

We talk with Dominic Letz about running Elixir on an Android phone installed in an APK which hosts a LiveView application accessed through a WebView! All while also pursuing a Web 3.0 architecture of being decentralized! Wow! There’s a lot going on here! Oh, and the tech is OpenSource!

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/069-elixir-on-mobile-with-dominic-letz

#068 Rust and Elixir with Nik Begley

October 12, 2021

We talk with Niklas Begley about his Doctave service and the problems it’s solving. From there we cover why they use Rust for a key piece of the service and how Elixir fits in. We cover tools like Rustler for integrating Elixir and Rust smoothly. We talk about business drivers, Nik’s experience building a SaaS product using Elixir and more!

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/068-rust-and-elixir-with-nik-begley

#067 Building a Healthy Community

October 5, 2021

We talk about ways we can all contribute to building a healthy Elixir community. The Elixir community is a welcoming, encouraging and helpful place and we want to help keep it that way! We talk about common problems facing maintainers, tips for engaging productively, the value of expressing appreciation, and much more!

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/067-building-a-healthy-community

#066 Tracing Production with Kai Wern Choong

September 28, 2021

We talk with Kai Wern Choong about his experience with tracing performance problems in production. We talk about what “tracing” means in a BEAM system, available tools like recon, great resources for learning how the tools work and general approaches for troubleshooting live production Elixir systems. Kai also shares his Livebook notebook setup for demonstrating tracing techniques in an interactive way.

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/066-tracing-production-with-kai-wern-choong

#065 Meet Core Team Member Aleksei Magusev

September 21, 2021

We talk with Elixir Core Team Member Aleksei Magusev about how he got involved in Elixir, what it’s like being on the Core Team, some of his contributions, areas in Elixir that interest him, and his tips for learning a new programming language! He also shares some of his interests outside of computing. Meet Aleksei!

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/065-meet-core-team-member-aleksei-magusev

#064 OTP Certificate Woes with Bram Verburg

September 14, 2021

We talk with Bram Verburg about an important root certificate expiring at the end of September and how this impacts your Elixir and Erlang projects! Bram helps explain where this IS and IS NOT a problem. He also explains the different update options available. We also get Bram’s security perspectives from his years of focused study and contributions in the Elixir and Erlang communities. A great resource for understanding the current certificate situation and for protecting your Elixir projects!

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/064-otp-certificate-woes-with-bram-verburg

#063 SMS Texting in Nerves with Peter Ullrich

September 7, 2021

We talk with Peter Ullrich about his experience sending SMS messages from a Raspberry Pi Zero using Nerves. We cover what went well, what didn’t and get a glimpse into the current state of Nerves for a newbie when dealing with hardware. Peter also tried Livebook for Nerves and had a great experience with that. We discuss the challenges of hardware systems dealing with the “real world” but see how Elixir makes the process easier to model and think about.

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/063-sms-texting-in-nerves-with-peter-ullrich

#062 Chris McCord joins Fly.io and Phoenix 1.6

August 31, 2021

We talk with Chris McCord about his recent announcement that he’s moved to work at Fly.io! We cover what this means for the Phoenix project and ongoing Phoenix development work. He shares why he’s excited about the Fly platform which includes how it replaces his need for a CDN! We also talk about the new Phoenix 1.6 release and all the goodness coming there. This release includes the HEEX engine for validated HTML at compile time, making the auth generators official, a new mailer generator, and the move away from Webpack to esbuild. We go deeper on what the move to esbuild means for existing projects before hearing where Chris wants to put his focus next. We covered a lot, so buckle up!

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/062-chris-mccord-joins-fly-io-and-phoenix-1-6

#061 Elixir’s Recent Brex-it

August 24, 2021

We cover the news then talk about the Brex announcement that they are shifting to a Kotlin-first strategy over Elixir. This reminds us of patterns we’ve seen in our careers and we reflect on what it means to us personally and professionally. We share our perspectives on Elixir, how it’s different from the languages we’ve used before and the unique value we get from it.

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/061-elixirs-recent-brex-it

#060 Compile Faster with Marc-André Lafortune

August 17, 2021

We talk with Marc-André Lafortune about reducing Elixir project compile times. On larger projects, when a single file like a view template is changed and over 100 files get recompiled, there is something wrong. Marc-André explains how he identified the problems in his project and contributed to Elixir’s mix xref tool making it easier for us to find those problems in our own projects! We cover how these tooling improvements were used to improve the upcoming Phoenix 1.6 and Elixir 1.13! An additional mix xref flag was added to run CI checks on our code to prevent accidentally adding code that slows our compile times.

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/060-compile-faster-with-marc-andre-lafortune

#059 How Elixir Came to Spotify with Joel Kemp

August 10, 2021

We talk with Joel Kemp about his experience introducing Elixir at Spotify. We learn about the concurrency problems he had with the default stack and how that was solved with the BEAM. We talk about the inertia that larger companies have that make introducing any change harder. Joel compares the process to running a marathon and shares some tactics used to help build internal support and interest. Fascinating insight into a well known company and how Elixir is helping internally.

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/059-how-elixir-came-to-spotify-with-joel-kemp

#058 News and Livebook for Business Intelligence

August 3, 2021

After covering the news we catch up on what Elixir things we’ve been thinking about and working on. Mark brings up using Livebook as a Business Intelligence tool for doing analysis of a running application’s data. David brings up how to design safe data migrations in Elixir systems, examples from the Rails ecosystem and how he’s thinking about that for Elixir.

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/058-news-and-livebook-for-business-intelligence

#057 Scaling Live Chat with Cade Ward

July 27, 2021

We sat down with co-host Cade Ward to hear how he and his team tackled a problem of hosting live web chats with crowds of 120K+ users coming together for live events. On the show, we have talked with a couple guests with similar bursting high-load situations. Cade had been through it too so it was time to dig in and cover how this situation can be solved. We cover the different attempts and temporary solutions used and the final solution that has been working really well. In fact it works so well, during a recent event, the auto-scaling didn’t kick in and everything was still fine!

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/057-scaling-live-chat-with-cade-ward

#056 Fly-ing Elixir Close to Users with Kurt Mackey

July 13, 2021

We talk with Kurt Mackey, founder at Fly.io, about what makes the Fly platform unique and why hosting Elixir applications there makes a lot of sense. They started out looking to make a better CDN for developers and this pushed them to try deploying Full Stack applications closer to users, not just the static assets! We learn about the tech behind the networking, how databases can be moved closer to users, and how LiveView is even more awesome when it is close to users. Kurt also shares what he sees as the future for databases as the industry continues to move into globally distributed applications.

Show Notes online – https://thinkingelixir.com/podcast-episodes/056-fly-ing-elixir-close-to-users-with-kurt-mackey