I have recently been spending some time with a new functional programming language called Elixir. At a similar time, Brighton Ruby opened it's CFP for talks. I sent in a proposal for a lightning talk on Elixir and it got accepted! Now what?
The problem was, what on earth was I going to say? For a lightning talk, you only get a short amount of time, usually only 5 minutes. When I've given full length conference talks in the past I normally go pretty technical and try to teach the audience something.
The problem with lightning talks is that here is virtually no time and trying to teach some Elixir would be a pointless exercise. Anyone could take a quick look at the documentation and learn about the same things just as quickly. I wanted to give some value in the talk even if it was at a super high level.
To that end, I thought I'd do a quick tour of the language so folks could get a glimpse of Elixir and what it has to offer. I wanted to inspire people to go and have a look at it if they hadn't already. But how should I present it?
I decided to try something different and just have some fun. I went full Snoop Dogg and dropped some mad rhymes:
Here are the slides in case they are interesting to you:
Looking back, what did I think of this experiment? Well, firstly, I wasn't trying to teach anything. I just wanted to flash up some Elixir code, talk around what it can do and try to be a little entertaining along the way. My hope was that if you liked the kind of things you saw, even if you didn't understand it, you'd be inspired to have a further look.
It was a fun experiment for sure and I did enjoy myself but I doubt I'd try this style again. I don't think I did a great job with some of the more in depth parts but maybe I tried to show too much. However, I got a few laughs and people spoke to me after and said they enjoyed it, so it was worth it.
I'm really enjoying Elixir and recently visited Erlang Solutions for 4 days in depth training which was super cool. If you're into Elixir or are looking for someone to help you out on your project then give me a shout!