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The Secret Sauce of Erlang: Opinionated Language and Focused Community

YOW! Lambda Jam 2020

As one who joined the Erlang community before it really even was one, I've had reason to consider and debate what makes Erlang special. Because it _is_ special. In this talk, I will summarize some of my own thoughts on the matter, exemplified by some war stories. My thesis is that while the impetus for creating the language is important, the evolution of the community and the niches where Erlang got some traction also play a vital role. Learning what has been successful in Erlang, what hasn't, and why, could give important clues not just to future adopters, but perhaps also to other communities (Elixir?) still developing a personality.

Ulf Wiger


Wiger Pilotti Unlimited AB


Specialist in the Architecture and Design of carrier-class systems. Have had the rare opportunity to influence a world-class product from conception through product release, several years of feature upgrades and maintenance, and finally a significant technology shift. Freelance software consultant since 2011. Have experienced both small startups and large corporations in Disaster Response, Telecoms, Consultancy, Finance, Medical, Automotive and Blockchain, including executive roles. A special interest is trying to bridge the cultures of research, Open Source development, and industrial design.