Yesterday, four of my classmates and myself gave an hour long lecture on Erlang/OTP. That lecture was followed by a two hours long lab. It’s been a while I wanted to share about Erlang, I read a lot about it but unfortunately, I never found some project I was interrested enough to dive in. I now have an idea but the usual problem is showing up : not enough time.
So the presentation covered the Erlang language, with its roots (the Ericsson lab, industrial use), its paradigms (functionnal and concurrency oriented) and syntax (that reminded Prolog and OCaml to the attendance). I mentionned the capabilities offered by the OTP framework (generic behaviours, supersivion trees, hot code swapping, …) linking all that to reliability and availability concepts as we got a fault tolerance lecture few weeks ago.
The lab was based on a simple messenger application from the Erlang getting started tutorial. Given the amount of time, I structured it as a “fill in the blanks” exercise. All went OK and people seemed happy with their working system, at the end. That was really a great feeling to explain processus interaction and deal with students mistakes while helping them. It’s also great to open their eyes on an unknown technology, as they now could choose to pick it up to solve some industrial challenges they could run into during their career.
On my side, I’m now gonna find time to start that Erlang project I think about. I really need to get skills on it as it’s definitively part of my fields of interrest. That could help to find a related job later.