Chicago Erlang Conference 2014 – Thinking in a Concurrent Language – Francesco Cesarini
Can you do three million things at the same time? Erlang can. What does the ability to do three million things at the same time mean for software design? How can it change the way we think about solving problems? In this talk Francesco will share his views on programming in light of Erlang’s remarkable concurrency model.
Yale Professor Alan Perlis once wrote, “A language that doesn’t affect the way you think about programming, is not worth knowing.”
To really appreciate the power of the actor model, no matter if you are using Go, Rust, Akka or Erlang, you need to learn to think concurrently. Erlang has for decades been leading the way in concurrent thinking and developers from different communities abd backgrounds have a lot to learn from its approach.
This talk illustrates by example how embracing the Erlang way of thinking about problems leads to scalable and fault-tolerant designs. It will describe three ways of clustering Erlang nodes within the server side domain, describing how these systems have evolved as the concurrency model and the underlying hardware got more powerful.
Through these case studies, we will describe how Erlang, and more specifically, concurrency was done in 1995 when the limit of processes was 30,000, with an evolution as to how concurrency is used and applied today, when the limit of simultaneous processes in in the magnitude of millions per virtual machine.
Francesco Cesarini is the founder of Erlang Solutions Ltd. He has used Erlang on a daily basis since 1995, starting as an intern at Ericsson’s computer science laboratory, the birthplace of Erlang. He moved on to Ericsson’s Erlang training and consulting arm working on the first release of OTP, applying it to turnkey solutions and flagship telecom applications. In 1999, soon after Erlang was released as open source, he founded Erlang Solutions, who have become the world leaders in Erlang based consulting, contracting, training and systems development. Francesco has worked in major Erlang based projects both within and outside Ericsson, and as Technical Director, has led the development and consulting teams at Erlang Solutions. He is also the co-author of Erlang Programming, a book recently published by O’Reilly and lectures at Oxford University.