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Sophie DeBenedetto
Sophie DeBenedetto

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From Newbie to Presenter: My Path to Speaking at Empex

I attended Empex last year for the first time. Empex is an awesome, dynamic, inspiring, one-day Elixir conference. As an Elixir newbie, I had no idea what anyone was talking about. And I hated it! (Okay, I kind of loved it).

It really gave me a kick in the butt to dive in and keep learning. That's what I love about that "lost and confused" feeling. Because I actually hate that feeling, it pushes me to work harder, build more and keep learning.

I left Empex last year and immediately starting building. I wanted to re-build an app I made in React with Node and Socket.io that allows users to pair program on and chat about various coding challenges. I felt that Phoenix Channels would be the right fit and great way for me to dive into Elixir and Phoenix.

I worked on that app for several months, slowing building out my MVP and adding more and more featuring--a chat box! A fancy glow that surrounds the name of the person that is currently typing!

Because last year's Empex conference had such a big impact on me, I was thrilled when my proposal was accepted for this year's event. You can check out my full talk below and you can check out the code for the project that started it all here.

I learned a lot from that project, and it inspired lots of blog posts. If you're interested in taking a deeper dive into some Phoenix topics, you can check out my articles here:

And don't forget to check out some of the other incredible Empex talks from this year. I especially recommend Kate Travers' "Pattern Matching: The Gateway to Loving Elixir"; Mat Trudel's "mix new beats -- Recreating The "Amen Break" with Elixir" and of course the key note by Dave Thomas who will make you hate all the code you've ever written (and inspire you to get to work!)

Discussion (2)

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Will Ricketts

This was really well done, and I very much enjoyed your talk :)

I went into it totally new to Phoenix Presence, and now I'm going to look at what I can do with it. Thanks for sharing an account of your journey.

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Jess Lee (she/her)

Congrats on the talk!!!