Erlang is a programming language specifically designed for developing powerful systems of programs that can be distributed among a network of different computers. It was first built and rolled out at the end of the 1980s by Ericsson for handling telephone switches.
Today, the Erlang language is a popular general-purpose language oriented towards building highly scalable, concurrent systems with guarantees for high availability. It is taught in many colleges and universities around the world and is available as free open-source code. Some industries where Erlang is mostly used include e-commerce, telecoms, computer telephony, banking and instant messaging.
Because of its concurrency, scalability and reliability, many businesses choose to use Erlang as their preferred programming language to build applications, message queue systems, blockchains and more. As a result, Erlang engineer experts are in high demand. Erlang software engineers are skilled in building extremely scalable, soft real-time systems focused on excellent user-friendliness.
Erlang engineers only make up a very small community because they are typically expected to be highly versed in the programming language. Because of this, the demand for these engineers is predicted to be steady over the next few years.
Developers that want to specialize in Erlang are required to have certain skills and knowledge. Let’s now explore how developers can become versed in Erlang:
How to Become an Erlang Engineer
For many aspiring developers, the Erlang language is worth learning because of the many benefits it can bring to businesses. Some of these include:
This is often seen as one of the most valuable characteristics of Erlang. It is highly functional, but it also features a very small set of syntactic primitives to use, making it very simple and even fun to work with.
- Concurrency and scalability
Erlang concurrent programs can easily be designed, scaled and distributed. As soon as the deployment and integration are set up, scaling nodes and generating new processes on a variety of machines becomes fast and efficient.
- Knowledgeable and reliable community
As a programming language, Erlang’s community is small but highly mature and simplicity-driven. These aspects protect it and help to promote the language’s growth. This is one of the biggest reasons why Erlang’s robustness has lasted this long.
An aspiring Erlang programmer should ideally have certain qualities and characteristics. Some of which include:
- Enjoying working with applications, including chat apps and messaging apps.
- Having a passion for writing really small, portable programs with few dependencies. The Erlang programming language allows developers to be innovative and creative.
- Being curious and wanting to discover new ways of programming.
So how does a developer become an Erlang engineer? Ideally, they should have the following skillset:
- Experience in the use of the Erlang language
- Demonstrable software development and implementation experience
- Understand how to design performant and reliable distributed systems
- Understand how operating systems work and are familiar with scripting
- Excellent data structure and algorithm skills
- Excellent understanding of networking fundamentals
- Ability to problem solve
- Ability to bring creative solutions to problems
- Good verbal and written communication skills
To get a more comprehensive idea of the skills and experience an Erlang developer should have, let’s look at an example of an Erlang engineer’s resume:
With these skills, remote Erlang coders can complete certain tasks fast and effectively. Some of the responsibilities and tasks that Erlang engineers may be required to perform include:
- Developing new web applications for both internal and external use
- Building platforms, systems and networking infrastructures
- Supporting and improving existing codebases
- Implementing solutions from customer requests
- Assisting with establishing engineering processes, tools, and systems that allow a business to scale its codebase, productivity and teams
- Performing verification and debugging software codes
- Communicating technical decisions
- Constantly coordinating with product teams to ensure that solutions take needs into account
Here are also some of the tools Erlang developers are mostly expected to be able to work with:
The skills required to complete these tasks can be taught at college or university, but because the group of Erlang expert engineers is so small, developers must find ways to effectively enhance their knowledge, skills and experience. As a result, many aspiring developers turn to using mobile apps to increase their employability. Let’s now explore some of the mobile applications beginner engineers can use to promote their skills.
Mobile Apps Beginners in Erlang Engineering Can Use
Learning a new programming language is not about finding more time. It’s all about clever learning and consistency. The software development market is constantly changing and evolving, so a developer who devotes just a bit of time every day to education has a much better chance of adapting to new trends.
Luckily, today, there are plenty of resources aspiring developers can use to boost their coding skills. Specifically, mobile applications have become a popular new way to keep developers educated. Let’s now discover a few of these apps:
- Programming Hub
This app is one of the largest learning platforms currently available. The learning content is very well-structured and the interface is intuitive and simple to use. With Programming Hub, developers can get a virtual certificate after completing a course.
This is one of the biggest free applications to learn coding, including Erlang. It includes courses on over 900 topics. SoloLearn offers three learning modes, including beginner, intermediate and advanced.
- Learning Programming
This application is designed to be a database rather than a course. It is a reliable source of data and can be used to get answers to important questions when mastering new program languages or software development concepts. The app has a highly intuitive interface and is very easy to use.
- Programming Hero
This is a fun app that caters to both beginners and advanced developers. Programming Hero is designed to take users through the core principles of some of the most common programming languages. As a major benefit, it also introduces users to the useful concepts of data structures and algorithms.
The Final Word
Through the years, Erlang has become a popular programming language for businesses that want to invest in innovative and robust applications. However, with the Erlang engineering community being really small, it can be difficult to find a suitably skilled and experienced developer offering Erlang development services. Aspiring Erlang developers have to carefully hone their knowledge and skills to stand out and enhance their employability. This can be done through effective college or university education, as well as using powerful resources such as programming mobile applications.