Newbie getting a Job as Elixir Engineer


Hope everyone is doing well. I have been learning Elixir for about 1 month now. I have built two projects and used the Phoenix Framework and Liveview, also touched a bit of Pubsub. I understand that I have a lot more to learn, and I will gladly learn it! There is always room to grow.

My question: How would someone like me impress recruiters?

What project can I build to really stand out, and can someone recommend me something to build?

I ask this because I recently began to apply for roles, and I noticed that mostly all Elixir roles are Senior Engineers. I have no experience with Elixir Except for what I have built so far. Do I need to spend 2 years Learning and building applications to be even considered to work for a company that uses Elixir?

Thank You


In my experience this seems to make sense. Elixir/Erlang has a lot of complexity that does not meet the eye of a beginner also there is the steep learning curve of a functional language with a quite unique concurrency model and features.

I am developing in elixir for about 4 years now and I can say for sure that it took me about more than a year to truly understand the philosophy on how to make good software. There are still things I haven’t mastered fully, like metaprogramming, it is a very green field with new patterns and practices.

As to why you would hire only seniors on elixir, the reason is simple, projects focused on performance/reliability. Such projects receive good funding but at the same time requirements are very hard to meet, so engineers with good knowledge of technology are required.

There is another side of medal, companies that write on ruby, seem to also start projects in elixir. They usually hire ruby juniors and then convert ruby seniors to elixir developers. If you truly want to develop in elixir, that might be your best place to start.


It says experienced but I’m pretty sure the right mindset can get you something: Hawku - The first NFT Marketplace written in Elixir/Liveview! :slight_smile:

give it a try!

Given the relative rarity of Elixir experience, I mainly hire based on evidence of creativity/tenacity/persistence rather than specific Elixir background, so to me, even a toy project built in Elixir would be a pretty positive sign. If it were critical to me to see someone going “above and beyond” I guess I’d be interested in a project that demonstrates creative solutions to the challenges of immutability, concurrency, etc. But in general, defensible designs that use Elixir idioms nicely are a pretty good start.

Also, if I were trying to hire for a “senior” Elixir role, I’d probably actually mean “senior developer,” not “Experienced Elixir developer.” Someone who’s been in the game for 5-8 years, has built production systems in at least 1-2 languages.

We’ve hired only one developer with production Elixir background (besides myself) from junior to ~6 years experience in other languages, all full-time, plus some 10+ years experienced Rails developers as consultants. If I choose curious people with a mindset that they’re not done learning, it tends to work out.

I would recommend not sweating “N years Elixir experience” that much if you see it in a job description. Sometimes that’s a formal HR organization pushing that sort of language, but it can be “this is my ideal candidate” rather than “this is the minimum we’ll actually interview.” Many companies will talk to you if you’ve got N years experience in anything. In my current company’s case, and in at least a couple of other places, we’ve just decided to rethink the position when we saw a sharp person ignore the listed “requirements.” I think it’s nonsense that companies write job descriptions that imply more experience required than they’d actually accept, but would definitely advise not sweating those details when applying, especially if the role sounds interesting otherwise.


This has been my own experience when i was job searching also. Since there’s not a lot of Elixir devs to go around really they’re looking for people who just make good software and are quick to learn.

I also ran a software agency myself and the word “Senior” gets put in the CV, but real world usage gets abused. It’s common to see juniors refer to themselves as seniors and seniors who think they’re mid at best. The latter can happen for many reasons.

Point is apply and let them decide if they want you. Keep building, yes. But don’t stop applying.