DEV Community

Mark Mahoney
Mark Mahoney

Posted on


An Animated Introduction to Elixir

This is a collection of guided code walk-throughs introducing the functional, concurrent programming language, Elixir. Elixir is based on another really cool language called Erlang. If you have never programmed in the functional paradigm or explicitly created and managed processes then learning Elixir should be a fascinating introduction into these topics.

I begin by covering the basics of the Elixir programming language. Elixir is a functional programming language that relies heavily on pattern matching. Pattern matching makes it so that you almost never need to write an 'if statement'. Elixir also has immutable data. Immutable data cannot change. I discuss 'efficient immutability' and the built in data structures throughout the book.

Elixir has excellent support for high order functions to process collections of data. These high order functions make it so that you rarely need to write a traditional loop. Elixir supports tail call optimizations for recursive functions which also helps reduce the number of loops that one has to write.

In the second part of this tutorial, I cover concurrency in Elixir. Elixir makes it easy to create many communicating processes. Using processes really changes the way one thinks about solving problems. Each process has its own flow of control, call stack, and mailbox used to receive and queue messages sent from other processes. There are built in functions so that one process can send and receive messages to others. I go over a few interesting problems that use processes in this chapter.

Part 1 Elixir
1.1 Hello Elixir!!!
1.2 Numbers and the Match Operator
1.3 Functions and More Matching
1.4 Modules and More Matching with SimpleMath
1.5 Closures
1.6 Ranges and the Enum Module
1.7 Tuples
1.8 Maps
1.9 SimpleDateFormatter Module with Maps
1.10 Lists, Matching, and Recursion
1.11 Poker Probabilities
1.12 Recursion in Elixir

Part 2 Concurrency
2.1 Adding Tests to the Mix
2.2 Process Basics
2.3 Prime Sieve
2.4 Calendar with Processes
2.5 Poker with Processes

I have more tutorials here:

If you'd like to stay connected and get updates when I add new playbacks you can follow me on twitter: @markm208. You can contact me directly at Let me know what you think!

Top comments (1)

sloan profile image
Sloan the DEV Moderator

Hi there, we encourage authors to share their entire posts here on DEV, rather than mostly pointing to an external link. Doing so helps ensure that readers don’t have to jump around to too many different pages, and it helps focus the conversation right here in the comments section.

If you choose to do so, you also have the option to add a canonical URL directly to your post.

Here is a post you might want to check out:

Regex for lazy developers

regex for lazy devs

Sorry for the callout πŸ˜†