Is Elixir good for getting to know a programming language for the first time?

Hello everyone, let me ask about elixir as the first language of a prospective programmer for his first project, is it worth it?

I have seen the Elixir ecosystem which doesn’t seem like a bad idea to make it the first language, one of the most interesting things is its ‘fault tolerance’ behavior which amazes me.

If we talk about in college, generally my university teaches oop then Java or Python as a learning material for a prospective programmer to know the first language as well as the language for his first project, because the general elixir is not common because in this case it is a functional language, then is it worth it?

Even though it seems subjective, I want to make sure that I am in the right place to invest more of my time in studying elixir or maybe even contributing to it. Perhaps could you provide some insight into this?

Thank You

If you are just starting, any language will do, however I would advice to avoid using libraries/frameworks for your first projects, try and build something from scratch with just the tools provided by the language.

The scope of the university is to teach you concepts, not programming languages. I would generally encourage you, if you have freedom of choice, use as many languages as humanly possible in your laboratory works. When you will start working, you will no longer have the time or energy to explore exciting and new things.

One of my teachers, that was very old said the following when we first met: “The scope of higher education is not specialization, but to extend your world”. This is why you should try out everything you can put your hands now on.

Should you give a try to elixir? Absolutely! also try out lisp, erlang, haskell, prolog. All of these languages have different great concepts at their core, don’t limit yourself to broken oop taught by popular languages on the market.

Industry-wise, understanding the functional paradigm is one of the aces of great developers. Those principles can be applied in any modern language.


I absolutely encourage you to pick a functional language as your first, yes.

It will teach you about immutable state and variables and how do you confine your logic to changing just the output of a function and not go back and modify the input parameters given to it – a mistake many mainstream languages allow you to do and that only serves to confuse people.

Especially Elixir’s pipes – the |> operator – will help you think in a good, logical and graspable way about how your functionality is assembled together. Get data A, transform it to A1, then transform to A2, then to A3, then eventually return that to your caller.

As @D4no0 said: avoid frameworks while you are working on understanding the language. Only use the stdlib. Pick a problem you would want to solve and try to implement it in vanilla Elixir. An exception to this is if you want to jump straight to web / API development but I don’t advise you to start with this right away.

Start with the official introduction and finish it from top to bottom, including the Mix / OTP optional parts (macros and metaprogramming you can skip for now). After you have gone through that, try your first mini project (again, vanilla Elixir). If you are still not confident enough you can ask here for more help and also go through Exercism’s Elixir track.


Also take a look at some of our older threads on this topic:

This book would also be useful to anyone new to functional programming:

And more here: