How a Professional Elixir Developer Can Come in Handy in Your Next Project
One such programming language that many of us might not have heard about is Elixir. Although it is relatively obscure compared to the big players, it actually boasts of a lot of unique and interesting features, and can offer a number of valuable advantages over the more popular languages. In this article, we take a look at the Elixir programming language and its characteristic features, and we will see how it becomes useful for use in certain types of projects.
Overview for Elixir Developers
The Elixir programming language was created by Jose Valim as a research and development project of Plataformatec, of which he serves as the founder and director. The language is written on top of, and runs in the virtual machine of, the Erlang programming language. In fact, one of the goals with the creation of Elixir is to enable better extensibility and increase the productivity in the Erlang virtual machine, also known as BEAM, while still keeping it compatible with the rest of the Erlang ecosystem. Elixir’s latest stable release is currently version 1.6.4.
The Elixir programming language follows multiple programming paradigms, such as concurrent, functional, process-oriented, and distributed, making it highly suitable for computation-intensive and resource-intensive applications. Among its defining features are:
- Scalable – Elixir codes are executed within lightweight threads, which are called processes, that are isolated from each other but are able to exchange information through messages. This enables Elixir programs to run large numbers of processes on the same machine simultaneously.
- Fault-tolerant – It is not uncommon for complex systems in production environments to encounter errors that can cause the whole system to malfunction or the site to go down. This is all the more likely when third-party systems and network connectivity and architecture issues come into the picture. To address this, Elixir provides tools called supervisors that allow your system to revert to an initial state — which has been guaranteed to work — when things go wrong.
- Extensible – Among the main design features of Elixir is its extensibility, which enables developers to extend the features and boost the power of the Elixir language by writing macros. These macros can then be used easily as though they were really part of the base language.
- Healthy Ecosystem – Although the Elixir language isn’t very popular, this doesn’t mean that it lacks development tools to allow ease of development using Elixir. For instance, Mix is a popular Elixir build tool that enables developers to easily create, compile, and test Elixir projects, and manage its various dependencies. This tool is also able to integrate well with Hex, Erlang’s package manager that also works with Elixir and enables the remote fetching of packages and provides resolutions for project dependencies.
While Elixir isn’t as popular as the big players in the programming language scene, these features definitely give it value that many other languages don’t possess.
Elixir Application Examples
Here are 5 interesting applications that have been created using the Elixir programming languages that are worth looking at.
Changelog is a webcast application that features news and podcasts for the developer community. The contents of its news and podcasts range from ethical hacking, innovation leadership, programming languages, interviews with tech founders, and artificial intelligence. Written in Phoenix, a popular Elixir framework, and PostgreSQL, Changelog is praised for being very fast and optimal.
Firestorm is an open-source forum and comment engine also written in Phoenix for its backend layer and Elm for its frontend layer. Launched via Kickstarter in November 2016, it’s a good alternative to Google Groups or Discourse, as Firestorm facilitates discussion by allowing users to post discussion topics, comment on discussion topics, and reply to comments on discussion topics.
Cercle is an open-source customer relationship management and project management application that’s also written using the Phoenix framework, as well as Vue.js. It features a board-based user interface where users can create boards of two types: People Board or Project Board. The People Board allows users to track deals, clients, and partnerships, while the Project Board allows users to track tasks, projects, documentation, and notes. It also allows real-time chatting of team members.
The website of Hex, the package manager of Erlang and Elixir, is itself written using Elixir. It makes available to Erlang developers and Elixir programmers a total of 6,346 packages with 32,871 package versions, and its packages have been downloaded a total of 217,452,298 times. It is free to use for public and open-source projects, but Hex offers a priced option for private projects used by multiple users.
The Evercam Server is a cloud-based camera server and management application for Evercam systems, which are security camera and CCTV systems. Written in Elixir, it allows a host of features, such as time-lapse video creation, live streaming of camera views, and regular capturing of high-resolution camera images at regular intervals. It also enables the sharing of both live and recorded video footages and the ability to compare before and after images of sites surveyed by the cameras.
Comparison: Elixir vs Erlang vs Go
Erlang and Go are two programming languages that are similar to Elixir. In addition to not being as popular as the big languages, they also offer unique features that cater to specific needs. Let’s dive into a comparison of Elixir vs Go vs Erlang.
Elixir Developer Salary
Hiring a developer for Elixir development in any application project can be of great value, as an Elixir developer will be responsible for baking many of Elixir’s main features into the app. For instance, he/she will be responsible for programming Elixir concurrency into an application’s architecture, allowing it to run across multiple machines at the same time, thereby utilizing and maximizing the power of your machines.
When hiring Elixir developers, one major concern would definitely be the cost. Luckily, there are many different countries from which you can hire Elixir developers from. With this in mind, let’s make a comparison of the typical Elixir developer salary, which varies from Ruby on Rails salary a lot in different countries, and from this, decide which country it would be wisest to hire from. For this comparison, we use PayScale, and we take a look at the gross average annual salaries of software engineers, which include Elixir developers. According to PayScale, the salaries are as follows:
- US – $81,884
- Finland – €42,133 ($51,876)
- UK – £34,142 ($47,813)
- Ukraine – $24,232
- Netherlands – €41,751 ($51,406)
Comparison of Software Engineer Salaries in Different Countries (Source: PayScale)
It’s obvious from the above comparison that Ukraine offers the most economical option to hire software engineers from, and this includes hiring Elixir software developers. Therefore, if you’re looking to hire someone with knowledge in programming Elixir 1.3 or later versions, hiring from Ukraine would be your best bet.
Hire an Elixir Developer Now
If you are in search of the best Elixir developer for you, you have come to the right place! Here at Mobilunity, we have Europe’s most talented dedicated developers highly skilled In Elixir and many other technologies. Not only do we have the best talents; we also have one of the lowest rates in the entire continent. For your app development needs, we are your partner.