ElixirConf EU 2017 – Drinking A Small Elixir In Barcelona

So I went to the ElixirConfEU. And it was awesome! I met great people. Heard good talks. Enjoyed a nice location (Barcelona!). Good seats. Which is not a small thing when spending more than six hours listening to talks. And finally: it was more than properly organized. Rooms were easy to find. Talks were following each other without overlapping breaks. Breaks were nicely planned, with coffee as much as you can drink and small ‘amuses-gueules’ more than you could eat. Small issue: the queue before you can get your coffee could be quite big.

To give a small introduction of the event: it took place over 3 days at Barcelo Sants, in Barcelona.
The first day was about workshops and you could choose between “Phoenix, Getting Real Time with Channels”, “Microservices under the Umbrella” and “Level-up your debugging skills”. The conferences were during the second and third days. Except for the keynotes, they were run two by two. Therefore, we had to make choices, obviously.
All the conferences I attended were interesting. But I decided to talk about the two I found more interesting. My first pick is the talk of Ben Marx.

Keeping Code Consistent

I guess it’s one of the main topics in Computer Sciences, when it comes to coding, maintenance and team development. To me, this talk was one of the best talks I attempted. And definitively the one I remember most.

Ben Marx (@bgmarx) is a Machine Gun.
He speaks crazily fast. Crazily Fast! Given the amount of data he wanted to share, it is no surprise and he had no other choice. But despite the fact that I am not a native english speaker, I had no issue understanding each and every word he said. Stunning.

But Ben’s speaking skills are not all that make my preference to this speak. He created a nice deck. Lots of slides. Few words on each of them. Good contrast between text and background. Easy to read. Easier to understand and switch back to his words.
He really used it as support for what he was saying. And I appreciate that.

Ben walked us through a small refactoring. He introduced the tools he was using (Credo, Dialyzer, documentation, testing, …), as well as how and why he was using them to keep code consistent.
In case you have already taken a look at Elixir and consider sticking to it, I think you should take a look at the talk.

If you have not dealt with it yet, and are wondering if you should: watch the talk, too. The last third of Ben talks is about how B/R has been using Elixir on a daily basis for their product since 2014 and how Elixir has helped them stabilize and scale their product. Just listening to the numbers of concurrent connection without highest latency is crazy. I do not want to spoil. So here it starts.

Just Enough Plug To Build A Web Server

If you have already looked at Elixir for Web Development, you most certainly have heard of Plug. If not, Plug is a dependency to create a web server in Elixir. Or how it is described by its dev team: `A specification and conveniences for composable modules between web applications`

In his talk, Ole Michaelis (@CodeStars) walks us through a small integration of Plug to create a web server. While there is nothing fancy, the talk is really pleasant to listen. The pace is just right. And the slides are really informative and well-designed.

Ole presented a lot of code snippet and leads through all of it, explaining each part of it. So even for beginners it was a comprehensible technical talk.
Also, Ole takes the time to give some Web definitions and explanations. Which, I can admit, is appreciated. I work on Web Development daily. But I do not know each part of a Web server.
Ole does not go deep into the explanation. But I think he gives just the right amount of information to follow his explanations, even if you do not work on Web Development, or enough to give you hints where to look next for further details about web servers development and way of working.

If you are interested in this talk: you can watch it here. I looked at it again, before giving the link: the slides are really great! What do you think?

So in conclusion, it was really nice to go there. I guess the hardest thing is to go to see other people. At least, it was to me. Once I made the move, I met great people and learned really interesting things. From the talks, obviously. But also by speaking with people about their project and their usage of the language.
I do not know what is next. But I will definitely schedule some extra time to go to further conferences, to learn new skills and meet awesome people.

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