Friday, June 27, 2008

Wrap up for the Erlang eXchange

The Erlang eXchange is over and I have to say this was a fantastic conference. Wendy and team deserve a lot of credit for making all of this happen.

Here's the highlights. Of the 140+ participants, one third were from the financial sector. I don't think that surprised anyone. Finance is the next domain (after telco of course) to start making money with Erlang. Joe Armstrong was there with all kinds of answers to all kinds of questions. As Erlang grows in popularity I suspect Erlang enthusiasts won't have this opportunity much longer. Soon folks will begin to complain about how easy it used to be to get direction from the horse's mouth. Even the mailing list is getting a little too noisy lately in my opinion. My advice? Stop asking Joe. He deserves all of the recognition he's got right now but I think some folks overlook people like Klacke Wikström. This guy has cranked out a compiler, a garbage collector, YAWS and the bit syntax for Erlang! Finally, a big thanks to Steve Vinoski for a great keynote speech. Ted Neward would have loved it!

In a show of hands, about half of all participants described themselves as full time professional Erlang developers, while the other half described themselves as language enthusiasts working with Erlang on their own spare time. Most folks at the conference seemed to agree that the Erlang community needed a killer app and more libraries. I agree with this for the most part, but a lot of folks seem to forget that a large number of libraries and third party APIs is not always a sign of a thriving ecosystem - sometimes a library exists entirely because of limitations of the underlying platform/language, or to solve an impedance mismatch problem that you simply shouldn't have.

I've been asked to make my slides available, so here they are.

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