For entry level engineers who have some basic Elixir experience, would you recommend that they stay in Elixir or adopt another tech stack if their goal was career stability?
I personally love FP, but I also hesitate to recommend it to others because of the small and often competitive companies that adopt it.
I think “it depends”.
First of all, I would recommend being flexible enough to take one of several tech stacks if your livelihood depended on it.
Second of all, I would take a look at the companies using Elixir that are available to me, remotely or local, and see if they are the kind that seem stable. i.e. if it’s all crypto start-ups and I needed stability…probably not :P.
Locally I have a couple big companies that provide “essentials” and are likely to not be affected as much by economy ups and downs. I would consider something like that stable.
I would highly discourage you to pursue only elixir experience. I am currently in the position of 4+ years of elixir experience from 5 years of professional experience and I cannot find a decent job, elixir jobs are sparse and most of them require 10+ years of experience.
On the other hand you have the unskilled recruiters that don’t understand the concept of adapting to a new language/ecosystem, so they most probably turn you down on the first interview because you don’t meet their requirements of x+ years in a,b,c technologies they use in their company.
elixir is unique and well paid, jobs are rare but so is the developer pool.
so it’s your choice and you have plenty of ways to go…full-stack being one of them.
I love Elixir! No doubt.
Enjoy the ride!
Thanks for the replies. I am actually preparing for discussions with other engineers. I have learned a lot of FP languages and held jobs in them. I’m just unsure about when to advise others down this complicated path.
I love Elixir quite a lot but the jobs experience has been very hit and miss.
On the one hand you have absolutely amazing people in interesting and not-that-conservative companies, and you learn a lot, and you teach them a lot, you get pretty good money and it’s an 98% positive experience all-around.
On the other hand you have companies where they pretend to listen to you during interviews, pamper you with promises and tell you that you’re gonna have an impact, and… not 3 weeks into the job you get thrown into a dead-end team where you are supposed to pull 5 tickets a day and produce 500+ lines of code a day (yes, that did happen to me).
But then again, such is career and such is life – there’s no such thing as riskless endeavours.
That being said, it’s IMO mostly down to luck. If you can afford to be out of a job for 6 months I’d use the opportunity to learn, do a lot of interviews, be 100% open about your level and what you want to achieve as an Elixir dev, visit a conference or two, and it will all work out much better than you’d expect.
If however you were like me – I was strapped for cash and couldn’t afford big downtimes, and that lasted several years – then that path is highly, very, severely not recommended. Things are better now and I’d likely do my own recommendation if I found myself out of a job today.
If you want an always big potential pool of employers however, look elsewhere. Elixir seems to be a lot about networking, I found lately.