Do you have any tips for Erlang newbies?

If somebody has just started getting into Erlang would you have any tips for them?

  • Any learning resources you might recommend?
  • Any tips or tricks you’ve picked up over the years you think might be worth sharing?

For books, LYSE as a starter, recommended to read front to back cover, but also mentioning that it has acquired a little dust over the years (written for R16 or so, the chapter about gen_fsm is pretty much obsolete for example).
From that, go on to other books like “Programming Erlang”, “Erlang Programming”, “OTP in Action” etc.

For training, try Exercism. Also, try to find an open source Erlang project you like and where you already have some knowledge in what it is about and try to contribute by solving an easy issue or something.

For learning Erlang the language: Don’t get scared by the syntax :sweat_smile: As you get more into it, you will get to love it. Same for Recursion. Don’t try to go too fast, ie don’t “cram”. Study a bit, play a bit, get comfortable with what you have learned so far, only then take the next step.

For learning Erlang the “philosophy”: Get comfortable with “Let it crash” and programming for the positive case, let go of the excessively defensive habits picked up from other languages. That will take some time, just keep it in mind as you go, until it becomes natural.

Last but not least, read along in the forum :wink:


Links To Above Suggestions:

My suggestion for web development in Erlang:


I can honestly say the author of the book and web framework is very active and helpful. He has been very quick to respond to my issues. :heavy_plus_sign: :one:


Adding to the above resources, here is a good collection of articles, talks and books:


Nice one! Thanks @ali


Find a problem/project and use Erlang to solve it. It helped me a lot versus trying to learn from examples that didn’t resonate with the kind of thing I wanted to do.


I wholeheartedly second this comment. Plus, if you need a mentor for your project, ask here or in the Erlang slack.

There are several experienced developers around here that would gladly mentor you if you want to contribute to their open-source projects or just create a new one.


Check out this set of videos. Nicely done.
Erlang Masterclass


Erlang in Anger by Fréd Hébert.