[erlang-questions] Erlang and the learning curve

Miguel Morales <>
Tue Jan 4 03:53:22 CET 2011


I think Erlang, functional programming, and multi-process programming
are complicated enough to take more than a few weeks to learn.
It's great that you have your pet project in mind, that's how I got
started (I built a 2D MMO).

Just dive into the code.  Start to setup your environment, makefiles,
etc.  All of this will make you familiar with the Erlang environment.
Then just start with baby steps, and start building your application
step by step.
Perhaps start by being able to reach your url and pulling some JSON or
perhaps start a process that scrapes the info and saves it somewhere.
Your first version will probably contain some errors and performance
mistakes, these will be fun learning experiences later.

I've been using it for over a year now and I've just barely begun to
use behaviours and other more 'advanced' Erlang features.  However I
was able to build my pet project as a learning experience and
implement whatever more advanced features as I learn them.


On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 6:12 PM, JETkoten <> wrote:
> Thanks for your reply. Yes, I've got my pet project in mind to auto-monitor
> and update an online book sales marketplace.
>
> I know the tools to use to make it happen with Ruby and had a prototype with
> some of the core functionality started (with some help I got from a local
> user group member).  Overall though I do lack experience there too, and
> don't quite know how to do it without Erlang per se.
>
> I did a CS degree about 7 years ago, but didn't ever really learn to code
> there. I focused more on OO analysis and design and software requirements
> engineering... along with distributed digital multimedia. Now I'm trying to
> get some coding skills, and happened across Erlang. I'm fascinated but
> finding the learning curve much more unforgiving than Ruby, for instance...
>
> Joe's Ph. d thesis has been the most useful for me too so far in getting a
> big picture idea about how things work in Erlang, but it's figuring out how
> to go from basics to real world that is absolutely boggling my mind at the
> moment. :)
>
> On 1/3/11 9:00 PM, Bob Ippolito wrote:
>>
>> Do you know what it is you'd like to do with Erlang?
>>
>> In my case I knew what I wanted to do before I started (build an ad
>> server), and I knew how to do it without Erlang, so taking the basics
>> and applying it to a real world problem was pretty straightforward for
>> me.
>>
>> The thing that finally made me "get" Erlang was Joe Armstrong's Ph.d
>> thesis [1], but at the time there were no books in print on Erlang so
>> there are probably better resources these days :)
>>
>> [1] http://www.erlang.org/download/armstrong_thesis_2003.pdf
>>
>> On Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 9:52 AM, JETkoten<>  wrote:
>>>
>>> Hi All,
>>>
>>> I've been reading/watching everything I can find (off and online) for
>>> learning Erlang for the past two or three weeks, but am just not getting
>>> it,
>>> in terms of being able to do anything with Erlang in the real world.
>>>
>>> I've watched some videos about functional programming where the hosts
>>> joked
>>> about people looking into functional programming deciding it's too hard
>>> and
>>> then never touching it again... but seriously, how do people bridge the
>>> gap
>>> between understanding the basics and implementing real world projects
>>> with
>>> Erlang? I know the three major books are available, but none of them are
>>> really using Erlang for what I'd like to do...
>>>
>>> How have any of you who have come to know big-picture how great Erlang is
>>> been able to get enough knowledge of it to actually do what you'd like to
>>> do?
>>>
>>> Any and all replies are most welcome.
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>> Jack
>>>
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>
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