Functional Juniors: Leveling Up Your New Elixir Devs

Gabriel Wamunyu

Savannah Manning


We aim to provide unique perspectives on software engineering from two unique backgrounds and the applications of these views to the training of junior developers. This presentation will be a summary of our time learning Elixir as a CS college graduate and a self-taught graduate, the contrast between these, and the benefits of a diverse team. The methods we used include aspects of our unique approaches to solving problems, how our mentors set us up for success, why TDD matters, the naive approach vs optimal solution, and how our results differ in a junior/junior pair versus a senior/junior pair. We will go on to discuss the comparisons of how we felt learning Elixir through projects we tackled together and how our backgrounds provided strengths in our problem-solving and code creation. By providing our unique perspectives on this process we will present useful takeaways for other devs to use when hiring junior devs from either an academic background or a self-taught background.

Talk objectives:

  • Assist senior developers looking to interview and hire new Elixir developers, by considering their educational backgrounds and fit with other junior developers
  • Provide the junior perspective on learning Elixir for seniors to consider when creating project objectives
  • Facilitate smoother pairing between junior Elixir developers and give an overview of possible pitfalls and learning strategies

Target audience:

  • All levels, most useful for seasoned seniors onboarding bright-eyed juniors and hopeful juniors looking to overcome the initial Elixir learning process

Introductory and overview

Growth, Pedagogy, Empowerment