[erlang-questions] Erlang for managers

Joe Armstrong <>
Fri Feb 26 15:59:48 CET 2016


It's a one liner:

13 Erlang programmers made a company worth 19 B$  (that's billion not million)

Read these two articles

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/sequoia-why-facebook-bought-whatsapp-2014-2
http://www.wired.com/2015/09/whatsapp-serves-900-million-users-50-engineers/

Everybody loves success stories (WhatsApp)

Go very easy on the technical stuff - managers think all PLs are the same anyway
you need to produce quantitative evidence that this is not the case.

Plan your talk like this:

    1) 19 B$
    2) Why is this the case?
    3) Shown them the business insider article
    4)   Explain the points in the article in more detail
          they will get bored and fidgety
    5) Just when they are about to fall asleep, say
        And what are we going to do about it?
        Are we going to lead the pack or carry on as we've always been doing?

        Explain that using old stuff (Java etc) is *very* risky -
project failure
        (the competition will use Erlang/Haskell etc)
       Then explain the plan

       This is what I think we should do ... (build a prototype with a
few of our best people)


      About 5 minutes for 1+2  10 minutes for 3, 30 mins on 4 (this is
where you show
you are technically competent) - 5 mins on 5.

     For a manager fear of the unknown and fear of failure are major concerns -
you need address this by changing perceptions.

    I some managers mindsets Java/C++ = safe, known. Erlang = risky, unknown

    So you have to work at this:

    In my my mindset Java/C++ = risky (project failure, complex code,
high budget)
But Erlang = safe (projects work, simple code, low budget).

   The greatest risk to your project is that a competitor doing
something very similar
chooses Erlang/Haskell etc.

   (This is all qualified by the assumption that Erlang is the best
language for your application)


   Then you should meet all the standard objections:

    " but we can't hire any programmers with erlang experience "

     "  we don't need to, the problem is hiring good programmers
period. Good programmers can learn any language "

    " programming Erlang is risky, nobody will want to do this as a
career choice"

    19B$

Tread lightly on the technical stuff, give examples to reduce the fear
of failure.

Don't make assumptions - ask lot's of questions:

    ' What's worrying you about all of this? '

If they don't accept your arguments ask them why.

    ' You didn't like the idea of using Erlang, so I haven't convinced
you, can I ask why
what did I do wrong? '

Remember the most important factors in decision making are trust and credibility
- credibility means you do your homework. Trust means you are not
'spinning them a line'

Cheers

/Joe












On Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 7:15 AM, Martin Hässler <> wrote:
> My manager's new manager has asked me for a high level summary of Erlang
> compared with other languages, especially C and C++, an "Erlang for dummies"
> as she put it. I would like to call it "Erlang for managers" instead, as she
> is not a dummy.
>
> What are the best Erlang summaries for managers nowadays?
> _______________________________________________
> erlang-questions mailing list
> 
> http://erlang.org/mailman/listinfo/erlang-questions


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