Programming enthusiasts are flowing towards object oriented programming languages like C++, Java and Python in waves. So when someone says that learning a functional programming language like Erlang is a great option, it’s both surprising and confusing in equal measure. But hear us out!
Going off the beaten track in favor of the road less traveled can often be the smartest path to success. There are fewer Erlang experts around than there are C++, Java and Python experts – by a long shot. We’re not saying a little competition is a bad thing – just that now could be the perfect time to get to know Erlang better.
Not convinced? That’s understandable. So what if Erlang could be a great prospect in the future when there’s the present to worry about, right? Well, according to Stack Overflow Erlang stands tall as one of the highest paid programming languages in world right now. In a separate survey of 500,000 IT professionals in the US, UK and Australia, Erlang programmers had the highest average salary – $125,000. So it looks like Erlang’s present as well as its future is bright.
Of course earning a good salary is important, but so is learning new and interesting technologies. No matter how much cash you’ve got in the bank, if the technology you’re working with isn’t exciting your job satisfaction will be non-existent. So where does Erlang stand in terms of performance, capabilities and ease of use?
1. Tried and tested
Erlang is not a programming language that came to light a few years ago and has clouds of uncertainty trailing over its shoulders. With more than 15 years in the business, Erlang has long passed the phase where a programming language comes with a new release every 6 months to fix bugs. With Erlang we get a finished, tried and tested programming language. Don’t trust us? Ask Facebook – they entrusted Erlang with Messenger and have nothing but praise for the programming language’s output and performance.
2. A symbol of parallelism
Here’s a question: How many things can you do in parallel? Two? Maybe three? Now, how many threads can Erlang run in parallel? Well, while sending a text message on Facebook to your friend have you ever wondered how many people around the world were doing the same thing right at that moment? Millions is the answer, and Erlang handles every one. More important than the ability to handle millions of threads in parallel however is how efficiently it handles them. Erlang handles traffic for the likes of WhatsApp, Facebook, Amazon and many more… so it’s safe to say it’s pretty efficient.
3. Effective and cheap
There are certain people who will willingly eat bad food just because it comes from a fancy restaurant, is ludicrously expensive or will make a cool Instagram post. If you’re one of those people, then we can only hope you don’t have the same attitude towards programming languages! Erlang isn’t the most beautiful or the most popular language in the world, but it sure is effective. It does what it does in the best way possible, and it’s also very cheap. So why pay more when you can have something better at a lesser price?