110 episodes

Elixir Wizards is an interview-format podcast, focused on engineers who use the Elixir programming language. Initially launched in early 2019, each season focuses on a specific topic or topics, with each interview focusing on the guest's experience and opinions on the topic.
Elixir Wizards is hosted by Alex Housand, Sundi Myint, and Eric Oestrich of SmartLogic, a dev shop that’s been building custom software since 2005 and running Elixir applications in production since 2015.
Learn more about how SmartLogic uses Phoenix and Elixir. (https://smartlogic.io/phoenix-and-elixir?utm_source=podcast)

Elixir Wizards SmartLogic LLC

    • Technology
    • 4.9 • 18 Ratings

Elixir Wizards is an interview-format podcast, focused on engineers who use the Elixir programming language. Initially launched in early 2019, each season focuses on a specific topic or topics, with each interview focusing on the guest's experience and opinions on the topic.
Elixir Wizards is hosted by Alex Housand, Sundi Myint, and Eric Oestrich of SmartLogic, a dev shop that’s been building custom software since 2005 and running Elixir applications in production since 2015.
Learn more about how SmartLogic uses Phoenix and Elixir. (https://smartlogic.io/phoenix-and-elixir?utm_source=podcast)

    Meryl Dakin on Changing Lanes and Switching Gears With Elixir

    Meryl Dakin on Changing Lanes and Switching Gears With Elixir

    Today we welcome software engineer Meryl Dakin to the show, who is currently employed by Knock. Meryl is here to help us continue our exploration of this season's theme of the impact of Elixir, and we get to hear about all how it has impacted her professional and personal life! Our guest talks about her journey through the world of development and the different positions she has held before her current role. We also get into her recent stint as the emcee of ElixirConf alongside our other friend Sophie DeBenedetto! We talk about learning through teaching, encouraging more questions, and why Elixir has had such a positive impact on Meryl's approach to code more generally. Big takeaways from today's conversation include the way that learning a new language can alter one's career in multiple and unexpected ways, why the Elixir community can feel so safe and supportive, and who might get the most benefit from being exposed to Elixir at the right time. So, to hear it all from Meryl and our usual cast of characters, be sure to listen in!

    Key Points From This Episode:

    A quick update on Meryl and what she has been busy with lately.
    Meryl's experiences emceeing the recent ElixirConf!
    Unpacking what Knock does and who the company serves.
    How Elixir has been used at Knock and the great experience Meryl has had building with it.
    Meryl's learning curve with Elixir and the biggest developments in the space from her perspective.
    The most common advice that Meryl would offer to junior engineers!
    Why teaching is often the best route to further learning; Meryl's reflections on her presentations.
    The importance of asking questions and speaking up when you do not understand.
    How Elixir shifted Meryl's way of thinking about programming: cleaner code and encapsulation.
    The different kinds of developers that might benefit from being introduced to Elixir.
    Thoughts on making Elixir more visible to the right people in the larger community.
    The personal impacts that Elixir has had on Meryl's life: meeting great people and finding an engaging and supportive community.
    When to consider using Knock and the initial offer for new clients.
    Where to go to find out more about Knock and whether it might be right for you!
    Meryl shares her biggest hopes and dreams for the future of the Elixir community.

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

    SmartLogic — https://smartlogic.io/
    Meryl Dakin on Twitter — https://twitter.com/meryldakin
    ElixirConf — https://www.elixirconf.com/
    Netflix Christmas Universe — https://collider.com/netflix-christmas-universe-how-movies-connect-explained/
    Flatiron School — https://flatironschool.com/
    Frame.io — https://www.frame.io/
    Knock — https://knock.app/
    Knock on Twitter — https://twitter.com/knockdotcom
    Knock Changelog — https://knock.app/changelog
    Sophie DeBenedetto — https://www.amazon.com/Books-Sophie-DeBenedetto/s?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ASophie+DeBenedetto
    The Flutter Apprentice Book — https://www.raywenderlich.com/books/flutter-apprentice/v1.0.ea2
    EMPEX — https://www.empex.co/mtn
    Programming Phoenix LiveView — https://pragprog.com/titles/liveview/programming-phoenix-liveview/
    Twilio — https://www.twilio.com/
    Special Guest: Meryl Dakin.

    • 51 min
    Brooklyn Zelenka and The Exciting World of Edge Computing

    Brooklyn Zelenka and The Exciting World of Edge Computing

    We are very excited to welcome Brooklyn Zelenka back to the podcast to talk about her work at Fission and the ever-expanding frontier of edge computing! Brooklyn is a co-founder and CTO at Fission and she gives us some insight into the focus of the company's applied research. We hear from our guest about the projects she has been most excited about recently and she even talks about her newfound passion for fermentation! She does a great job of explaining why edge computing is potentially so revolutionary and some of the hurdles that are yet to be overcome on the way to reaching this potential. We discuss security and trust, tech equity, broad adoption, and much more before getting into some more Elixir-focused questions. Our guest shares how Elixir and functional programming have inspired her in different ways, as well as her perspective on some of the weaknesses of Elixir. At the end of our chat, Brooklyn gives some great resource recommendations for anyone wanting to learn more about edge computing, so make sure to stay tuned for that!

    Key Points From This Episode:

    What Brooklyn has been keeping busy with recently.
    A little about Fission and what their research focuses on.
    Tech and societal trends through the pandemic and Brooklyn's new interest in fermentation.
    Brooklyn unpacks the main mission of edge computing and some of the biggest challenges.
    Decisions around what is localized and what is stored remotely in edge computing.
    Addressing the issue of trust and safeguarding against data breaches.
    The influence of functional programming in Brooklyn's work on edge applications.
    Some information on Brooklyn's talk at ElixirConf this year titled 'The Jump to Hyperspace.'
    Our guest explains the concept of antientropy and its associated techniques.
    Thoughts on the problem of tech equity and how this might be tackled.
    Gaining popular trust for new technologies and their inevitable faults.
    Brooklyn's feelings about Haskell, and the inspiration she takes from it into her work with Elixir.
    The impact that Elixir has on Brooklyn's work in a broader sense.
    The route that Brooklyn took into the functional programming world.
    Brooklyn weighs in on the questions of Elixir's downsides.
    Resources recommendations for anyone looking to get more acquainted with work in edge computing.
    Where to find and connect with Brooklyn online!

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

    SmartLogic — https://smartlogic.io/
    Brooklyn Zelenka — https://twitter.com/expede?lang=en
    Fission — https://fission.codes/
    Brooklyn Zelenka at ElixirConf 2021— https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogOEEKWxevo
    Designing Data-Intensive Applications — https://www.bookmall.co.za/products/designing-data-intensive-applications?gclid=Cj0KCQiA2ZCOBhDiARIsAMRfv9ITE1sFKIIcSwK6EGR04aW2RrFZphwrvDQxZekyhuPbEyuqKt6Td8QaApPqEALw_wcB
    Brooklyn's Tepache Fermentation Recipe — https://ipfs.io/ipfs/bafybeiawn23o6prk4kdhv4cpbfylzr5g2fr22umhvbshf4rlksfrgjzpga/p/Tepache.pdf
    Witchcraft Suite of Libraries in Haskell/Elixir — https://hexdocs.pm/witchcraft/readme.html
    Proto School — https://proto.school/
    Fission Discord — https://discord.gg/zAQBDEq
    Fission Discourse — https://talk.fission.codes/
    Fission on Luma — https://lu.ma/community/com-XuESjPQQHjh43pc
    FissionCodes Twitter — https://twitter.com/FISSIONcodes
    Witchcraft Suite — https://github.com/witchcrafters
    Special Guest: Brooklyn Zelenka.

    • 46 min
    Sigu Magwa on the Elixir Community in Kenya

    Sigu Magwa on the Elixir Community in Kenya

    We are always excited to have conversations about the growth of the Elixir community, and today we go truly global, welcoming Sigu Magwa to the podcast, who hails from Kenya! Sigu is currently traveling in the US and he fills us in on some of the highs and lows of his trip and why he is so excited to get home to his friends and family. From there, we get into some interesting information about Elixir Kenya and the growth of the meetup over the last couple of years. Sigu shares some insight into IoT in his country and what the general tech space is like right now over there, before opening up about his journey into programming and how he found his way into working with Elixir. We also get to talk about his company, Podii, and their first few years working with clients. Apart from all the tech talk, Sigu is kind enough to shed some light on Kenya's matatu buses, and what makes them so unique, a subject that was particularly captivating to our panel! Listeners can also expect to hear about the recent ElixirConf Africa, Sigu's thoughts on hiring young talent, and what he hopes to see in the next decade within the community. So to catch it all, be sure to listen in with us on Elixir Wizards!

    Key Points From This Episode:

    Sigu's trip to the US and the sights he has been seeing in different cities.
    Some information from Sigu about the Elixir Kenya meetup and the community there.
    Sigu's experiences with IoT technology in Kenya and its adoption.
    The elevator pitch for Sigu's company, Podii, and its roots in training.
    Podii's current operation and company size and some of the projects they have worked on thus far.
    The coding language trends in Kenya; Sigu weighs in on what he has noticed.
    Sigu's history in the programming space and how he made his way into the world of tech.
    How 'matatu' buses operate in Kenya; TVs, celebrity portraits, strobe lights, and high speeds!
    The ElixirConf Africa that was hosted this year and Sigu's experience of being involved.
    Sigu's hopes for the Elixir community for the next ten years!
    Approaches for identifying talented young Elixir developers.
    How and where to connect with Sigu online and final remarks from our guest.

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

    SmartLogic — https://smartlogic.io/
    Sigu Magwa on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/sigu/?originalSubdomain=ke
    Sigu Magwa on Twitter — https://twitter.com/s_igu
    Podii — https://podiihq.com/
    Nerves — https://www.nerves-project.org/platform.html
    ElixirConf Africa — https://elixirconf.africa/
    QuadBlockQuiz — http://quadblockquiz.org:4000/
    Matatu Bus — https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2018/apr/27/a-minibus-ride-like-no-other-nairobis-matatu-culture-in-pictures
    Hire Junior Engineers — https://smartlogic.io/blog/hire-junior-engineers/
    Teach Yourself Computer Science — https://teachyourselfcs.com/
    Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs — https://www.amazon.com/Structure-Interpretation-Computer-Programs-Engineering/dp/0262510871
    Elixir Wizards Discord — https://discord.com/invite/JGcqSaYf2a
    Special Guest: Sigu Magwa.

    • 50 min
    Casting Spells with Brooklin Myers

    Casting Spells with Brooklin Myers

    Brooklin Myers is on a quest to change the perception that Elixir is difficult to get into and we are so grateful to have him as a guest on the show today. Aside from being a passionate programmer, Brooklin spends a lot of his time trying to encourage new members in the Elixir community through his Twitter account and podcast called Elixir Newbies. In this episode, we talk to Brooklin about his relationship with Elixir and its broader community, why he loves the space so much and, and why he wants to help it grow. We cover his journey into programming and how he got involved with Elixir specifically. He talks about the features of the language that he loves most and how learning Surface has allowed him to use Elixir in the same way he used to use React. Our conversation also ventures onto the subject of Dungeons and Dragons, another passion of Brooklin’s, and he tells us how learning programming is the closest he has come to fulfilling his dream of being a wizard!

    Key Points From This Episode:

    Region-specific spelling and our peeves about words we easily misspell.
    Brooklin’s background in React and how Surface has helped him use Elixir in a similar way.
    Structure and testing: Why Brooklin loves Elixir and how it compares to JavaScript.
    How Brooklin got into programming and left his job selling computers.
    What led Brooklin to discover Elixir and how he realized its true potential.
    The aspect of problem-solving and continuous growth Brooklin loves about programming.
    Brooklin’s desire to help others learn and why he started the Elixir Newbie podcast.
    How to get over perfectionism: the value of remembering it is okay to fail.
    Sundi and Brooklin’s approach to taking notes and turning them into posts or tweets.
    How Brooklin handles his writing, podcasting, and other work by time-blocking.
    Brooklin’s love of Dungeons and Dragons and the improvisation of being the DM.
    Why Brooklin loves fantasy and how programming is the closest thing to real-world magic.
    The impacts of Elixir on Brooklin and how supportive the community has been to him.
    Whether Brooklin feels that learning Elixir has changed the way he codes.
    Aspects of Elixir that can improve regarding ease of access to the community.
    Final shoutouts from Brooklin and where to connect with him online.

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

    Brooklin Myers on Twitter — https://twitter.com/brooklinjmyers
    Elixir Newbie — https://www.elixirnewbie.com/
    Elixir Newbie Podcast — https://podtail.com/en/podcast/elixir-newbie/
    Lost Mines of Phandelver – https://www.dicebreaker.com/games/dungeons-and-dragons-5e/deal/lost-mines-of-phandelver-adventure-free
    Kealy Doyle — https://www.linkedin.com/in/kealy-doyle/
    Jono Stiansen — https://twitter.com/JonoCodes
    Matthew Baker — https://www.linkedin.com/in/mcbii/
    Anton’s Pasta Bar — https://antonspastabar.com/
    Keith Eats Everything — https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9qQXSjI-WOppp4B9x5bgsBS3993KAX2e
    Surface — https://hexdocs.pm/surface/Surface.html
    SmartLogic — https://smartlogic.io/
    Special Guest: Brooklin Myers.

    • 56 min
    Speedcubing and Building Livebook with Jonatan Kłosko

    Speedcubing and Building Livebook with Jonatan Kłosko

    It is important to us that the Elixir community keeps thriving, and one of the best ways to ensure this is by lowering the barrier to entry as much as possible. Livebook is helping to achieve this aim, and today we are lucky enough to be joined by its developer, Jonatan Kłosko. Jonatan is a young prodigy because while he is still at college, he is working closely with José Valim at Dashbit, and he can solve a Rubik’s cube in under five seconds! After hearing about his college thesis on evolutionary algorithms using Numerical Elixir, we jump into the story of how he met José and started building Livebook. He explains that Livebook is a web application for writing interactive and collaborative code notebooks for Elixir and we hear about the many features he is building into it. From there, Jonatan describes what he loves about Elixir, and we discuss how learning functional programming changes the way we code. Tuning in, you’ll also hear about a bunch of features that make Elixir so great, how its downsides are mostly solved by its extensibility, and some of Jonatan’s other hobbies that help him keep balance in his life. Be sure to sip on some Elixir with us today!

    Key Points From This Episode:

    Jonatan speaks about “speedcubing”: his hobby of quickly solving Rubik’s cubes.
    How Jonatan got into programming and where he is at in his CS degree.
    Discussing Jonatan’s Bachelor’s thesis project on evolutionary algorithms in Elixir.
    How evolutionary algorithms are a style of solving optimization problems biologically.
    Building the project using the Erlang distribution and the Numerical Elixir library.
    How Jonatan started working on the Livebook project with Dashbit.
    Thoughts on how Jonatan broke into the Elixir community and how others can do the same.
    Livebook: a code notebook application with collaborative and sequential evaluation features.
    The IEx session abilities of Livebook and how impressed Sundi was when she discovered them.
    The different use cases for Livebook and the direction Jonatan wants to take the app in.
    Jonatan’s process of learning Elixir at college and the application he built for a project.
    The pair programming features of Livebook and how to use them.
    How well-positioned Jonatan is to learn Elixir and what he loves about the language.
    The functional programming style and how it affects how people write code after learning it.
    Downsides of Elixir around immutability and typing and Jonatan’s feelings toward this.
    How Elixir is making an impact on the programming community through being user-friendly.
    Jonatan talks about his other hobbies and how he finds balance in his life.
    Hopes for the future of Elixir, resources for learning, and how to get involved in the community.
    How amazing the pipe operator is and the huge advantage it gives Elixir over JavaScript.
    Final plugs from Jonatan and how best to reach out to him online.

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

    Jonatan Kłosko — https://jonatanklosko.com/
    Jonatan Kłosko on GitHub — https://github.com/jonatanklosko
    Speedcubing — https://www.rubiks.com/en-us/speed-cubing
    Erlang Ecosystem Foundation Slack — https://erlef.org/slack-invite/erlef
    Numerical Elixir — https://github.com/elixir-nx
    LiveView — https://hexdocs.pm/phoenix_live_view/Phoenix.LiveView.html
    Phoenix LiveView — https://github.com/phoenixframework/phoenix_live_view
    Dashbit — https://dashbit.co/
    Haskell — https://www.haskell.org/
    React — https://reactjs.org/
    Elixir — https://elixir-lang.org/
    José Valim — https://twitter.com/josevalim
    Livebook — https://dashbit.co/blog/announcing-livebook
    SmartLogic — https://smartlogic.io/
    Special Guest: Jonatan Kłosko.

    • 45 min
    Protocols in Elixir with Yiming Chen

    Protocols in Elixir with Yiming Chen

    Today on the show we are grateful to get the chance to speak with Yiming Chen from Tubi, where we hear all about how he likes to use Elixir and the contributions he has made to the community. We begin as always with Yiming's journey into programming and how he got into Elixir through his early interest in Ruby. From there, we talk about the magic of Protocols, hearing about an awesome project Yiming built using them and how this lead him to build a testing framework called Promox. In this section, we also get into how Protocols enable polymorphic logic, why they are useful for defining shared interfaces explicitly, and the differences between Promox and Mox. Our conversation today covers some general advantages of writing code in Elixir, and we explore how it has influenced Yiming’s style of programming, its efficiency thanks to concurrency, and its usefulness for building maintainable applications. Wrapping up, we hear Yiming’s thoughts about the nascent Elixir community in China and all the future possibilities for this magical language.

    Key Points From This Episode:

    How Yiming got into programming by building websites using WYSIWYG tools as a child.
    Yiming’s experiences using Ruby and how that led him to learn Elixir.
    People Yiming knows that are using Elixir for personal projects and some highlights of these.
    Yiming’s project where he used Protocols to transfer files from one cloud provider to another.
    How Yiming’s Protocol project led him to create a testing framework called Promox.
    Protocols versus behaviors and how Promox differs from Mox.
    A basic description of how Protocols enable polymorphic logic in Elixir.
    Why Protocols are so useful for defining shared interfaces explicitly.
    The thing that makes Protocols in Elixir specifically attractive.
    Sundi’s talk on Mox and her thoughts on the pros and cons of using it.
    How Yiming got into using Mox through Ruby and his thoughts on it.
    The advantages of using Elixir over Ruby relating to concurrency and testing.
    Networking and software developer jobs after remote work.
    How Yiming’s ElixirConf talk went and the positive feedback he received.
    Yiming’s feelings about Test Driven Development and how closely he follows it.
    Learning Lisp in college and Yiming’s earlier experiences with functional programming.
    How small the Elixir scene in China is and thoughts about how it should grow.
    The benefits of Elixir for building maintainable applications and more.
    How Elixir has changed the way the Yiming programs.
    A model for building websites in Elixir with HTTP requests as functions.
    Final plugs from Yiming about the need for developers at Tubi!

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

    Yiming Chen on Twitter — https://twitter.com/dsdshcym?lang=en
    tubi.tv — https://tubitv.com/
    Quinn Wilton — https://twitter.com/wilton_quinn
    Promox — https://giters.com/dsdshcym/promox
    Sundi Myint: Stunt Doubles | Testing with Mox, Elixir Conf 2021 — https://youtu.be/qMScnpGhu4E
    Yiming Chen - Promox: Roles, Protocols, and Mocks — https://youtu.be/Df81LbdRd0A
    ‘Mocks and explicit contracts’ — https://dashbit.co/blog/mocks-and-explicit-contracts
    Programming Phoenix — https://www.amazon.com/Programming-Phoenix-Productive-Reliable-Fast/dp/1680501453
    Why Elixir Matters A Genealogy of Functional Programming - OsaGaius — https://youtu.be/X2u0bBqhRKE
    SmartLogic — https://smartlogic.io/
    Special Guest: Yiming Chen.

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

SunsetKnight ,


I’ve been listening to Elixir Wizards for awhile now. It’s my one stop for great elixir content. They are always bringing something fresh to the table and I love how they interview members of the community!

Amos King ,

A fun podcast about Elixir and their ecosystem

I’ve been a guest a few times, and love working with the Wizards. They have a great, laid back interview process, and I always look forward to listening to their episodes.

DanIvovich ,

A Unique Look at Elixir

A different and worthwhile look at Elixir that brings a unique show to the community. Worth every minute I spend listening.

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