From Generalist to Specialist

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Learning a new programming language is quite a commitment, and it’s imperative you’re investing your time wisely for the long-term growth of your career.

Let’s take a brief look at Elixir as a language so we can try to understand why some companies might adopt it for production.

“Why would anyone want to learn Elixir in the first place?”


Since Elixir borrows from the syntax of Ruby and the BEAM VM from Erlang it has the ability to be flexible and enjoyable to code with, while also being highly scalable and maintainable.

Battle-tested for decades, the BEAM VM is ultimately the best at what it does, fault-tolerance & concurrency, combine that with the quick and easy to use syntax of Ruby there’s a great deal you can accomplish with just a few lines of code.

Here are some thoughts and opinions of other experts in the field:

“Elixir doesn’t have a big enough ecosystem or libraries”


To date Elixir currently has roughly 11,000 libraries and counting but who needs a library when a few lines of code can solve the same problem.

Or if you feel like reaching out to someone, you can join the Elixir Slack to see how positive and willing to help the community really is.

“I don’t want to pigeonhole my career into a small niche.”


Why would anyone bother learning a new programming language if it stunted their career growth?

While it never hurts to add to your skillset it would be a bad investment of your time and energy if you never had the opportunity to use that skill in the workforce.

In 2019 Elixir entered Info Q’s trend report at the “Innovator Adoption” phase which shows traction and growth, but who exactly is using it?

But just because some companies are using it doesn’t guarantee it’s here to stay right?

In 2021 Stack Overflow’s survey placed Elixir as the 3rd highest paid language globally and 4th most loved language to program with.

So if companies are willing to pay Elixir developers well, and developers love coding with Elixir, it’s not hard to imagine Elixir becoming more mainstream than some of the common back-end languages you see in production today.

“How come I don’t see any job postings for Elixir?”


Granted there are fewer Elixir job postings globally than Ruby, JavaScript, or Python for example but the sheer quantity of job posting might not be the best metric to look at.

If there are 1,000 open vacancies but 100,000 qualified applicants you have a 1% chance of becoming employed whereas with Elixir, in our experience a vacancy is likely to have over 200 applicants before finding 1 technically qualified Elixir developer.

Currently, the opportunity/qualified applicant ratio is heavily skewed in favor of the talented Elixir developer, and sometimes, you just have to know where to look.

Elixir opportunities (focus on remote):

“What’s the point in learning Elixir if I’m already good at what I know?”


Wanting to be the best at what you do is always a commendable trait. Some people can take the simplest things and run with them to the ends of the earth, truly perfecting their craft.

In essence, it comes down to your goals and what you want out of life; is being the best developer with a specific language your goal, or is it the byproduct of something greater like enhancing your quality of living, increasing your income, finally reaching a state of work/life balance, working on exciting new projects or, or creating amazing products that solve important problems.

If you’re not already living your dream, maybe we can help.

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Book a call now with Jeremy Graham to go over the details and see if we’re a good fit for each other.

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