Writing Quality Code in Erlang

Garrett Smith
Creator of e2 and the MongoDB is Web Scale Videos, Architect at CloudBees

One of the most common questions on Stack Exchange is “Why does Erlang syntax resemble Prolog with asphyxia?” [1]

In this talk, Garrett will obliterate the notion that Erlang syntax is weird or that you can’t use it to write beautiful code. The plain truth is that it’s easier to write beautiful code in Erlang than it is in most other languages.

Garrett will describe methods for writing luscious, gorgeous, easy-to-read and maintain Erlang programs. He will cover topics such as:

  • API design
  • Function and variable names
  • Proper use of case and if expressions
  • Managing complex data structures
  • Code refactoring
  • Common functional patterns

Garrett will draw from the coding styles of the Erlang masters as well as his own experience an Erlang programmer and instructor. He will argue will a zeal bordering on religious fervor, chiding those with different views. [2]


1. Not a common question on Stack Exchange

2. No one will be chided




Garrett was a software engineer at CloudBees and is responsible for building scalable, er, that is, awesome software! At CloudBees Garrett led the development of the RUN platform-as-a-service that provided reliable, performant application hosting to tens of thousands of customers, which in turn served tens of millions of end-users!

Garrett's weapon of choice for the development of awesome software is Erlang -- a highly concurrent functional programming language that use used by companies like Facebook, WhatsApp and Machine Zone to build the world's largest messaging systems. Garrett is an international speaker and instructor. He organizes the Chicago Erlang User Group which sponsors Chicago Erlang - an annual Erlang conference in the heart of the US. He is the author of several Erlang projects including e2, Psycho, and LambdaPad. He is the creator of the satirical videos MongoDB Is Web Scale, Node.js Is Bad Ass Rock Star Tech, and Erlang The Movie II, The Sequel.

Garrett maintains his blog at http://gar1t.com. 

GitHub: gar1t

Twitter: @gar1t

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