Should Web Developers Know Elixir?
Elixir was created by José Valim of Brazil for building scalable, concurrent, and maintainable applications, it has since grown in popularity and usage to become one of the widely used server-side programming languages.
According to a Stack overflow survey of 2021, Elixir is used by 1.74% of professional developers. Elixir is slowly gaining popularity among developers. The same survey reported that Elixir is the 4th most loved programming language, with 72.11% of professional developers who loved it versus 27.89% of developers who dreaded it.
Elixir has grown to be the second most loved programming language by professional developers in 2022. Only Rust is more loved than Elixir.
Elixir is a dynamic, functional, general-purpose language programming language, that runs on the Erlang virtual machine (BEAM). Elixir is easy to learn and widely used to build fault-tolerant, scalable, and maintainable applications, its syntax is similar to that of Ruby. If you have worked with Ruby or Python before, you will have no difficulties working with Elixir.
Elixir is used in Web development, Embedded Systems, Multimedia processing, Data Ingestion, Internet of Things, etc. to build maintainable, Scalable, and concurrent applications.
If you want to use Elixir in web development, you can use the Elixir-based web framework Phoenix. Phoenix is the most loved web framework in 2022. It is loved by 83.51% of developers versus 16.47% of developers who dreaded it. (Stack Overflow Survey 2022)
Phoenix is easy to use, and work with, you can build interactive web applications quickly without writing much code. Phoenix is used by many companies such as Podium, Heroic Labs, Bleacher Report, Inverse, VoiceLayer, Veeps, BrightCove, CargoSense, etc.
Elixir is used in production by many companies such as Discord, Motorola, Pinterest, 500 Startups, Adobe, BBC, Divvy, Envato, Farmbot, Financial Times, Font Awesome, Moz, Neato Robotics, Slack, and many others. It can be seen that Elixir is loved, trusted, and used by a lot of big companies and businesses for server-side applications.
Even though Elixir’s popularity is growing and many companies and websites are adopting it, there are many other alternatives that you can use for web development, meaning that, learning Elixir for web development is completely optional.
WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVES TO ELIXIR FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT
There are many server-side programming languages and frameworks that you can use as alternatives to Elixir. Here are some of the popular ones:
PHP is the most popular server-side programming language, it powers more websites on the internet than the rest of the server-side programming languages put together.
According to statistics from w3techs.com, “PHP is used by 77.5% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.” PHP website usage has been decreasing over the years, but it will take more than 25 years to decrease to 50% at the rate at which it is decreasing.
To make your development process easy, quick, and well structured, you can use PHP frameworks such as Laravel, Symfony, CodeIgniter, Slim, Zend, Phalcon, CakePHP, and many others.
PHP is used by many popular platforms and websites such as WordPress, Drupal, Wikipedia, Facebook, Slack, Etsy, Tumblr, MailChimp, etc. PHP is simple to work with and it is a great alternative to Elixir.
Python has an easy-to-understand syntax that makes it easy to write code. Getting started with Python is much easier than with Elixir. Python is used a lot by web developers for backend development. According to a 2021 Stack Overflow survey, Python is the third most used programming language by professional developers.
Python Django is one of the most popular web development frameworks, it was used to build part of the Instagram backend. Other python web frameworks that can be used in place of the Elixir include Flask, FastAPI, CherryPy, Falcon, etc.
You can also use Java as an alternative to Elixir for server-side programming. Java is used by many websites, especially in the enterprise world. You can learn more about how Java is used in Web Development in our article DO YOU NEED JAVA FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT.
Go is an open-source programming language supported by Google, Go is used in web development to power fast and scalable web applications. It is a good alternative to Elixir. Some of the companies using Go are shown in the image below.
Since its invention in 1995 by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto of Japan, Ruby has grown in popularity and usage to become the third most widely used server-side programming language after PHP and ASP.NET.
According to statistics from w3techs.com, “Ruby is used by 5.9% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.” Ruby usage for making websites has been decreasing over the years, but it is still one of the popular choices for many companies and startups.
Elixir was inspired by Ruby and the two have a similar syntax, Ruby’s syntax is simple, elegant, and English-like, similar to that of Python. Getting started with Ruby and Ruby on Rails for web development is very easy and you will serve a lot of development time. Ruby is also a good alternative to Elixir.
The popular online E-commerce store builder Shopify was written in Ruby (Ruby on Rails). Other popular websites using Ruby include Twitter, Github, Basecamp, Airbnb, Dribbble, Hulu, Kickstarter, Zendesk, Fiverr, SoundCloud, and many others.
There are many other alternatives to Elixir that I have not listed here. The availability and usage of many other powerful server-side programming languages and frameworks show that you can work on web development projects without using Elixir.
It can be seen that even though Elixir is popular, loved, and widely used by a lot of web developers and companies, learning Elixir for web development is completely optional, you can do without Elixir. There are other server-side programming languages and frameworks that you can use.
If you want to make a website but you do not want to write any server-side or frontend code, you can use Website builders like WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, etc. to do all the heavy lifting for you. You can make powerful websites without writing any line of code.