Enough Elixir to be dangerous - path for a hobbyist weekender developer?

Hi all, bit of an off the wall question. I know there are a lot of experts here, but I was wondering what the path would be for a hobbyist weekender developer.

I was wondering what the best route into Elixir would be to learn enough to be dangerous. For example to be able to spin up a CRUD app with Phoenix or a small utility app that’s not trying to do too much.

I started out with Hartl’s Rails tutorial and have got to grips with Django in the past. What would you say the best way to just get going is for someone that maybe doesn’t have the deepest development knowledge?

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Hi @olliejudge, welcome to the Elixir community!

What worked for me was diving into the official guides and docs to grasp the basic concepts of the language:

Also, I recommend reading the basics section at https://elixirschool.com, for a beginner-friendly introduction (not that the official docs are difficult to follow btw).

What usually works for me is to start building stuff as soon as possible, so I went directly to Phoenix. Learning Elixir and Phoenix together is a very complementary experience - unlike other frameworks.

PS.: There’s another book that I’ve recommended for people onboarding my development team which is: https://joyofelixir.com. From the book’s first chapter:

Joy of Elixir is a gentle introduction to programming, aimed at people who already know some things about computers, but who have little-to-no programming experience. If you think you don’t know enough about computers, well you got here already and that’s enough!

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Personally I installed Elixir and did mix phx.new and went from there, building a real app I had been thinking about for a while. Was pretty frustrated for a week or two, but excellent docs and this forum made it possible to get a working prototype deployed to gigalixir within a month, using spare free time only while working full time with Rails.

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Elixir is a functional programming language, therefore is very important that our minds do the switch from object orientated programing to functional programming, and the only book that made the click for me was:

If you prefer it in video course format:

This is from @pragdave the same author of many Ruby books and the famous Pragmatic Programmer book.

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If you want to learn more Elixir, try doing Advent of Code. If you want to learn more Phoenix, check out The Pragmatic Studio. The first half of their LiveView course is available free, and there is a coupon for ElixirForum users to save on their courses. I paid full price for it and it was worth every penny!

Also, Phoenix can “spin up a CRUD app” out-of-the-box with no code, so you might want to be a little more ambitious with your app ideas :wink:

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Thanks for all the advice here. Sounds like the old adage of “just start trying to build something” is probably the way forward. Going to pick up PragStudio’s course as well.

@APB9785 I’m hoping to branch out to more interesting things soon. Kind of have limited time to spend on this stuff but hoping this new community will help add a bit of jet fuel to my ideas that I’ve had rattling round for a while.

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If you’re comfortable with Rails, Phoenix for Rails Developers is a great way to bootstrap that knowledge into Phoenix. I also found it valuable for specifically calling out differences where the two frameworks use similar words for distinct concepts.