Software development teams tend to pick programming languages that are the best fit for their needs and products. Communities form, and there can be a lot to learn from others who are using similar approaches, especially when it’s still up and coming.
Looking to gather learnings in one place, SmartLogic developers Eric Oestrich and Justus Eapen added hosting a podcast to their activities under the banner of the Canton-based dev agency this spring.
“Smart Software” is aiming to provide a look at best practices in web and mobile development.
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It’s a technical podcast that features interviews with developers from around the wider tech community who are working with new languages.
For the first season, they’re focusing on Elixir in production, speaking with engineers who are have apps built with Elixir that are live.
Elixir is still growing — based on meetup size, Oestrich said he finds it gets half the attendees of Ruby on Rails — but SmartLogic sees lots of promise. During a test in 2015, the team found Elixir and the framework Phoenix to offer a “great developer experience,” Oestrich said. They liked its ease of use when compared to Ruby on Rails, and that it had performance benefits that allows for development at scale, even with a small team. The agency soon started using it for lots of projects.
“Elixir and Phoenix are where Ruby and Rails were in 2004,” Eapen said. “We’re right on the edge of what I think is going to be a whole new era of web development.”
Being in the Elixir community at conferences and other areas, they found others to talk to about their Elixir projects. In putting the discussions on recording, they aim to offer a resource. Over nine episodes to date, they’ve talked to different engineers, including from companies like Cava and Weedmaps.
On our latest episode, @idlehands of https://t.co/LqYfOwpmkq shares his experience using Elixir and stories about when Elixir saved the day in production. Listen now! https://t.co/EL5nGqgOcJ #elixirlang pic.twitter.com/SkWYlBVUxa
— SmartLogic (@smartlogic) April 11, 2019
So how did they go about starting a podcast? They both brought prior experience, but the first thing was to choose an approach. Oestrich and Eapen saw a lot of news-focused technical podcasts already out in the world, as well as more conversational offerings. Instead, they decided they wanted to provide information for listeners who already had a base knowledge, and offer content that could have an extended shelf-life.
“We wanted to make evergreen content that would be used for years to come,” Eapen said.
The topic could change to different languages, but the constant is that they want to offer a “deep dive,” Eapen said. The first season’s topics include libraries, implementation and patterns. With the first season set to wrap up this month, they’re planning a second season that goes even deeper into the internals of Elixir.