A simple meander into Phoenix & Elixir
You stumble through the internet on a dark night. To your surprise, what crosses your path first is the simple but familiar joy of discovering an unfamiliar web framework for an intriguing programming language…
Where to start?
There’s a surprisingly large (and overwhelming) volume of material online! Many results are from smart developers making some money by organising the learning process.
how to learn phoenix — Google
You truly appreciate the utility of this approach, but choose not to take the pay-to-learn route on this trip. Your cat enters the room, reminding you that you’ve already committed budget to replace the pillow decimated by yesterday’s hunger-induced feline rage.
Wildly clicking at some of the first results brings up a few recurrent themes:
Why learn Phoenix? What are the best resources to learn Phoenix? Does Phoenix and Elixir actually scale well? Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Essentials! on Vimeo?
(You can’t claim to have made-up that last bit. Google knows you’re getting chunky...)
You’re already quite lost and overwhelmed. You aren’t going to delve into what Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is (and you’re not yet at the deep, dark, internet-cat-realm) so you look away and try to quickly find a path through this cruft.
Directing your gaze to a different video.
Because you’re supposedly a millennial (and you’re thoroughly bored by the lack of progression at this stage), you find a nicely structured video which shows off just a little bit of what Phoenix & Elixir can provide:
LearnPhoenixTv — Daniel Berkompas
Your “pro-tip” intuition tells you that the promotional material begins at 4:10 of the video.
Having watched this lovely little video, you discover that:
Phoenix on Elixir is: performant; scalable to teams of developers; scalable technologically; realtime oriented; and looks/feels a bit like Ruby.
A second impression.
Reading through a few more opinion pieces to get sense of perspective of the Phoenix & Elixir domain, you discovered what looks like a very comprehensive tutorial. It’s a fully fledged guide to building the major pieces of a Phoenix-React chat app!
Learn Phoenix PDF — Sam Corcos
Unfortunately, building an entire app seems rather overwhelming right now. You don’t even know how difficult or time consuming this could be. What else can you dig up before getting your code-digits dirty?
You put it in your back pocket because of the great introduction and the clear step-by-step guide to installing Phoenix on your local machine. You know it’ll guide you later on for how to work with Brew, Node, NPM, and the whole shebang.
A key part of the introduction lingers in your mind as you move on:
It should be easy to pick up Phoenix if you’ve played with Rails.
Avoiding the paywalls, again.
After exploring another four or five paywalled course websites, you’re now convinced that a different source of knowledge could get you much further with far less precious currency (almost none, in fact).
Since your initial exploration of software development, you’ve realised that the internet runs on a backbone of open source software, built by people generously giving of their time and effort. They work tirelessly to disperse knowledge and build better tooling; it is rarely appreciated as much as it should be.
Behold! You find another formidable example of collaborative open source efforts!
Learn Phoenix Framework — GitHub Collaboration
The warm embrace of an open source community lingers a little while longer in your mind…
After reading through this resource, you’re convinced that you’re well situated to understand what Phoenix & Elixir can do, where to start learning and where to continue your explorations.
A short rest before really digging in.
Informed, excited and motivated, you prepare to rest up ahead of installing this promising new world of code-wonder. At this point, your furry feline companion yawns loudly and demands food. Your neglect is no longer tolerable.
Though the adventure was short, you start to feel the intensity of your brain alight with possibilities. Before your eyes start to ease shut from the inevitable 2am exhaustion, you catch a glimpse from the corner of your eye: the majestic Phoenix framework website!
Phoenix Framework . Org — Official Website
What style! What collaboration! What reference documentation! You know you’ve finally found your compass and your basecamp for the expedition ahead.
Satisfied at your progress thus far, you finally dispense food for your indignant little buddy and settle in for the night. You begin to doze off, smiling, able to rest easy knowing you’re well-equipped with all the material you need to truly start an exciting journey on the road to learning Phoenix & Elixir.