[erlang-questions] Erlang and the learning curve

Jesper Louis Andersen <>
Tue Jan 4 08:50:04 CET 2011

On Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 03:12, JETkoten <> wrote:

> 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...

You are trying to do these things all at once:

* Get a good idea of what the functional programming paradigm is.
* Get a good idea of what the concurrency primitives of Erlang looks like.
* Understanding how to do web development with Erlang.
* Perhaps understand what OTP is.
* Having a specific project you want to implement on top of all of the above.

I am with Bob on having a project as a driver for the study. But you
must accept that the above things, taken all at the same time, means
it will take longer in the beginning. I'd suggest that you don't
necessarily build to succeed in the first place. Build to learn. And
then build to succeed. If you have no prior exposure at all to
functional programming, that is where your focus should be in the

The learning curve feels steep because there are so much new stuff to
take in. However, here is the secret: Erlang is a very simple
language. So as soon as you have worked a bit on the curve, you are
almost over it and from there on out, the climb will be much less
steep. Believe me, it is the first hurdle that is the hardest one.


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