About the show

On Elixir Wizards, we talk with software developers from around the world about the Elixir language and other modern web technologies. In season three our theme is Working with Elixir: Functional Programming, Hiring/Training, and Performance.

Elixir Wizards is hosted by Justus Eapen 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.

Elixir Wizards on social media


  • Alex Garibay and Mike Binns from DockYard on Hiring and Training

    February 20th, 2020  |  Season 3  |  26 mins 11 secs
    dockyard, elixir, phoenix

    Mike Binns and Alex Garibay of DockYard share their journeys of how they came to work at DockYard and give us a fascinating peek behind-the-scenes into DockYard’s hiring and training processes, systems, and philosophies.

  • Sean Lewis from Divvy on Performance, Hiring and Training

    February 13th, 2020  |  Season 3  |  34 mins 34 secs
    elixir, phoenix

    Today on Elixir Wizards we are delighted to be joined by Sean Lewis, a senior backend architect at Divvy. One of the many impressive facts about Sean is that he is entirely self-taught, from dabbling in Python and coding to eventually writing a bunch of Ruby tests and working his way up in the product development sphere. In his free time, he likes to play around with electronics and work on other tech-related projects such as developing custom smart home devices. In this episode, Sean discusses his recent Meetup talk on the implementation of Broadway and explains Divvy’s tech stack choices that include React, Elixir, and Python. He dives into the topic of hiring for Elixir, outlining the challenges and providing strategies and resources to equip new developers in the area of functional programming. For Sean, the most important aspect of onboarding is teaching newcomers to ask the right questions since this is the foundation of the problem-solving process. He shares about Divvy’s approach to recruitment, his role as mentor, how they go about retaining and continuously growing their developers, the importance of being teachable, and then Sean concludes by giving listeners practical advice for ensuring data fidelity.

  • Paul Schoenfelder and Hans Elias Josephsen on Lumen and Performance

    February 6th, 2020  |  Season 3  |  51 mins 59 secs
    elixir, lumen, rust

    Paul Schoenfelder and Hans Elias Josephsen from DockYard have been working on Lumen, and in this episode, we discuss how this project is incorporated with WebAssembly, a binary instruction format that ultimately allows Elixir to be run in the browser and preserve the semantics of the language. We talk specifics - the data flow and process of writing Elixir, the compiler, interpreter, and run-time functions involved, Rust as the programming language of choice, and when users can expect Lumen to be released.

  • Sophie DeBenedetto and Meryl Dakin on Training and Building Elixir Projects Under Constraints

    January 30th, 2020  |  Season 3  |  45 mins 12 secs
    2u, elixir, frame.io, github

    Sophie DeBenedetto from GitHub and Meryl Dakin from Frame.io talk about specific ways to develop new features while simultaneously managing team members and other projects. We discuss Elixir-specific challenges encountered while developing applications for 2U, how Elixir’s failure-first programming capability guided them, how they prepare for training workshops, and the productivity hacks that keep them focused and energized.

  • Brooklyn Zelenka on Functional Programming

    January 23rd, 2020  |  Season 3  |  39 mins 26 secs
    elixir, fission, phoenix

    In today’s episode we have one of our favorite recurring guests, Brooklyn Zelenka, joining us once again! Brooklyn has been on the show in both the first and second seasons to speak about Elixir and functional programming. In those conversations, it came up that this topic is far from exhausted, and since Season 3's theme is working with Elixir, we thought it would be great to have Brooklyn on for a third time. Today, Brooklyn does not speak to Elixir specifically though, but on functional programming more broadly. Fission, her company which is working on developing next-generation hostless apps, actually uses Haskel, but Brooklyn has a ton of experience across the board. She gives us some great insights into what makes the functional versus OOP paradigm great and helps us to understand some of the inner workings of both worlds, talking about abstraction, application, data orientation, and more. Interestingly, Brooklyn does employ some imperative programming in her company through the use of Typescript, but uses a functional style to get around the context switch. We spend some time toward the end of the show digging deeper into macros, and Brooklyn helps to revise understandings of them as code which writes more code as well as clarifies the term 'homoiconic' as it relates to ASTs. Brooklyn covers a whole lot more today so hop on for a deep dive into functional programming with today's great guest.

  • Bruce and Maggie Tate from Groxio on Training

    January 16th, 2020  |  Season 3  |  38 mins 4 secs
    elixir, groxio, lonestar elixir, phoenix

    Groxio is a great platform that allows programmers to learn new languages easily and broaden their horizons. Our guests today are the team behind Groxio, Bruce and Maggie Tate! In our discussion, we cover the basics and the not so basics of what they do, from how they got into the Elixir world and founded Groxio to the conferences they run and the books they have published. We also talk about the benefits of learning multiple languages and Bruce makes a strong argument for the influence that smaller coding languages have had on his Elixir skills. Maggie and Bruce open up about having a professional and personal partnership and how they manage their marriage and businesses side by side. To finish off we hear about all the exciting things to expect at the Lone Star Conference this year and how it is going to be even better than last year's!

  • Dan Ivovich from SmartLogic on Hiring and Training

    January 9th, 2020  |  Season 3  |  22 mins 39 secs
    elixir, phoenix

    On today's show, we are joined by Dan Ivovich from our team here at SmartLogic! Dan is the Director of Development Operations and has already been a guest and cohost a few times on the show. Today we are talking about hiring and training and his experience with these tasks at the company and especially concerning Elixir. We discuss the challenges Dan has faced in recruiting and the ways in which SmartLogic has lined up resumes and possible candidates through events and meetups. Dan explains some of the difficulties that are common for programmers transitioning into Elixir and how the company approaches the tasks of onboarding and ongoing support. We also get into Dan's favorite resources and tools for staying abreast of Elixir and his recommendations for practices to learn fast as a newcomer before he explains how he thinks about continual learning and expanding his own skillset. The conversation finishes with some thoughts and reflections on functional programming from our guest, so make sure to tune in for all of that and more!

  • Eric Meadows Jönsson on Hex and Working with Elixir

    January 2nd, 2020  |  Season 3  |  37 mins 10 secs
    elixir, hex, mint

    We are happy to be joined in this episode by Eric Meadows Jönsson, creator of the hexpm package manager, and an amazing resource who works tirelessly to build the Elixir community. Eric presently works at Brex and was part of the core team at Forza previously. In keeping with our current topic of all things working with Elixir, Eric takes a deep dive into the work he is doing to optimize various interfaces at Brex. He gives us the rundown on the static compile-time checking project he is working on, talking about his aims to build in different warnings and what we can expect from the new release in that regard. You’ll also hear about Eric’s journey learning Elixir and how he had to change his OOP mindset when he got introduced to functional programming at university. He shares the story behind hexpm and Mint, his thoughts about the future of Hex, and some of the processes around accessing the private repositories on its website. We also hear more about Eric’s hiring procedure while working at Forza, how he teaches functional programming to students at ElixirConf, and some of the major performance bottlenecks he experiences using Hex. Tap into the incredible resource that is Eric and hear more about how you can link with him online to learn further in the future by tuning in!

  • Chris Keathley on Performance and Functional Programming

    December 19th, 2019  |  Season 3  |  35 mins 26 secs
    elixir, phoenix

    Our guest on the show today is blogger, software cowboy, and podcast host Chris Keathley. Chris is a senior engineer at Bleacher Report, co-host of Elixir Outlaws, and writer of an assemblage of open-source software. He joins us today to speak about his new projects, his journey with functional programming, and what it is like to run Bleacher Report’s infrastructure on Elixir.

  • Justin Schneck & Frank Hunleth on Nerves and Performance – Working with Elixir

    December 12th, 2019  |  Season 3  |  38 mins 47 secs
    elixir, erlang, nerves

    On today’s show, we welcome Justin Schneck and Frank Hunleth, luminaries from the Nerves team! We take a dive into the world of Nerves with them, covering themes of performance, problem-solving, transitioning to hardware, and breakthroughs in the field. We begin with a conversation on how Elixir handles performance issues on the range of devices they support and Frank gets into how the team solved an early boot time discrepancy between a PC and a Raspberry Pi board. Other big themes for today are ironing out the kinks in the system registry model and merging Erlang and into hard real-time. After squeezing some information out of the guys about their use of ugly code hacks we get into some visionary decisions as well as things the team wished they could have done differently at Elixir (see the release of the new networking stack). Finally, we end off with what Frank and Justin are excited about as far as developments in the Nerves community, so be sure to plug into this one!

  • Brad Traylor of Podium on Training & Hiring – Working with Elixir

    December 5th, 2019  |  Season 3  |  27 mins 21 secs
    elixir, phoenix

    Our theme this season is working with Elixir, and joining in the conversation today is Brad Traylor from Podium. Brad shares his expertise in hiring and training for Podium, a position he is passionate about since it gives him the opportunity to work on the people and tech side of things. We begin by hearing a bit of Brad’s background, when and how he was first introduced to Elixir and the standout qualities that attracted him to Podium. He discusses the hiring process, including what he looks for in an engineer, why they don’t recruit much but rather work with referrals, the step-by-step of onboarding new devs and the resources he recommends to anyone in the industry.

  • José Valim, Creator of Elixir

    November 26th, 2019  |  Season 3  |  43 mins 40 secs
    elixir, phoenix

    Today on Elixir Wizards we are joined by none other than José Valim, the inventor of Elixir! Coming from the Ruby on Rails world, José found his way to functional programming and we hear all about the evolution of his philosophy and thought process around the time of the creation of the language. He gives us some great insight into why functional programming is so appealing to him and the problems he wanted to solve by creating Elixir. We chat about other languages and his use of Erlang, Elixir's three biggest influences and some important characters in the story. José also shares a bit of personal, behind the scenes stuff about his schedule and how he tries to stay as productive as possible. We finish off the chat, talking about performance and the measures José has taken in this regard. For all this and more from a true Elixir wizard, be sure to tune in!