[erlang-questions] Training new Erlangers

Max Bourinov <>
Sun Oct 21 19:04:32 CEST 2012


Hi David,

For me the book "Erlang and OTP in Action" worked very well.

Best regards,
Max




On Sun, Oct 21, 2012 at 8:48 PM, Henning Diedrich <>wrote:

> Hi Dave,
>
> to help a talented beginner, I found it can be very productive to use the
> actual project and its requirements, lay the needed functionality out
> clearly and get started top down, providing a framework of the build
> environment, the expected supervisor and app structure and seed Common Test
> suites. If the product is too big, sub-dividing it into apps may work.
>
> Concretely, after two weeks of letting toy with a core functionality, use
> the source that was produced, embed it into the frame of the project as
> described above and help navigating the new, clunky iteration for another
> two weeks.
>
> Be available for newbie errors for approx. 2 months: try to never allow
> for more than an hour of unsuccessful bug hunt before reporting up for
> help. Else you'll loose days.
>
> The circle you are describing can't really be repeated too often. You take
> the major ______s out by introducing apps, supervisors and tests early. But
> refactoring only because its will make things more OTP should not be
> allowed before all functionality is present in my opinion. That reminds me
> to how Joe Armstrong said he was surprised that people understood his book
> to recommend using only OTP behaviors while what he meant to do was to
> encourage writing your own.
>
> Best,
> Henning
>
> On Oct 21, 2012, at 6:26 PM, David Goehrig <> wrote:
>
> > As someone actively hiring Erlang programmers, I'm far less interested
> in how many existing programmers there are, and more concerned with how to
> train new programmers. Right now, I have a team of 8 engineers learning
> Erlang, and plan on hiring 8 more for the team before the end of the year.
>  Because we are hiring experts in other fields (video engineers, machine
> learning, hardware engineering, graphics processing, rights management) and
> teaching them Erlang.
> >
> > Our pool of new hires are constrained by:
> >
> > 1.) domain knowledge in a component of our infrastructure
> > 2.) self directed individuals who require minimal day to day supervision
> > 3.) a willingness to learn Erlang
> >
> > This turns out to be a great fit as the personality profile favors T
> shaped individuals. (A little of everything + world class specialty) but
> that category of individual is already rare enough that adding #2 becomes a
> positive boon. People want to work on this team because they get to learn
> Erlang.
> >
> > It turns out the difficulty in training them is not Erlang's syntax, or
> the globally distributed infrastructure they're reworking. It is the cycle
> of learning itself:
> >
> > 1.) Why would I ever want to use ________?
> > 2.) Wow ________ is cool! I'm going to rewrite everything using ________!
> > 3.) WTF were the thinking when they implemented ________, it is far too
> complex!
> > 4.) Oh $#!+ I need rewrite everything again as a proper __ application.
> > 5.) repeat cycle again ad nauseum infinity.) goto 1
> >
> > This cycle goes through several iterations that seem to repeat for each
> group, where they discover the value of bits of OTP by reinventing it piece
> by piece.
> >
> > I wish there way a way to fast track this learning by devising a
> fiendish set experiments to get them to do all the wrong things quickly. A
> "Learn Erlang the Wrong Way" course, to distill months of painful lessons
> into a few short weeks :)
> >
> > Granted, you are probably still doomed to repeat those lessons for the
> next 2 years as they get ingrained in practice.
> >
> > How have other's experiences been with Erlang training programs /
> seminars?
> >
> >
> > -=-=-  -=-=-
> >
> > On Oct 19, 2012, at 1:33 PM, Max Bourinov <> wrote:
> >
> >> Hi guys,
> >>
> >> I see that demand of Erlang on the market is rapidly grows. I think it
> is just beautiful news! People are realizing the power of Erlang.
> >>
> >> Also I heard strange information that there are 2-3 thousands full-time
> Erlang programmers in the world and this is biggest problem of the
> language. I have no idea how to calculate all Erlangers, but my first
> thought to ask a list to reply to this mail so we all can see how many
> replies we have. Of course it won't count all Erlangers, but I believe that
> big part of Erlangers are in this list.
> >>
> >> So, please reply just once!
> >>
> >> Let distributed asynchronous counting begin!
> >>
> >> Best regards,
> >> Max
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
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> >> 
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> > 
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>
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