Joy of Elixir: The Ultimate Guide To Build Your Super Apps


March 2023

If you are spending your days listening to podcasts, reading blog posts, developers’ tweets, and hackers' new threads, then you must be hyper-aware of the Elixir programming language by now.

The language has taken over the minds and hearts of top developers, marking its position in the list of the Most Loved Languages with a promising score of 75.46% in the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022.

Developed by the geniuses of José Valim, a well-renowned genius in the open world, Elixir has crept out of its shell and is building promising applications. It was built on a scalable, stable, and extensively tested foundation.

ARFASOFTECH has formed a remarkable community of Elixir developers that awaits an invitation from you to join forces and develop the mobile app of the decade. It’s not just the talent we boast about.

It's hard work! If you want a demo that lasts for ONE WEEK, we’re game because our Elixir developers are as fit as a butcher’s dog when it comes to pouring innovation and unflinching dedication to clients’ projects.

 Elixir: Is it a Potion for Immortality? 

According to Wikipedia , it is a sweet, flavored drink utilized for medicinal purposes. But when your nerdy friend with a degree in software engineering hears the word “ELIXIR”, he’ll explain it as a functional, concurrent, open-source programming language that runs on the Erlang Virtual Machine (BEAM).

Too many big words were thrown there and probably sounded like reams of IT gobbledygook. 

But do not worry! Today is your lucky day because you’ll get a human-friendly explanation that will nestle into your hippocampus without any straining or frowning. 

Elixir is an easy-to-use and extremely fun programming language that you can utilize to write instructions for computers and get the work done. Developers write programs in this language that are comprehensible to both humans and computers. Hence, writing Elixir is a joy for many.”

RECOMMENDED: How Did Python Become a Most Popular Programming Language?

Traveling Back in Time: History of Elixir

Let’s travel back in time to 1986. The tumultuous shores of Scandinavia await your presence to reveal the origins of Elixir.

Founding Father

The company, Ericsson, aimed to resolve the horrendous issue of reliable phone switching. One of the founding fathers of Erlang, the late Joe Armstrong, defined it as a quest to write a program that would run forever. 

The product was Erlang, a significant milestone in the history of programming languages because it allowed Ericsson’s phone systems to operate without crashing and kept developers entertained by updating the software while it was running - No more system-wide shutdowns just for updates. 

However, everyone has skeletons in the closet.

The issue is that Erlang is not very user-friendly. It differs fundamentally from popular engineering languages such as Java, C, Python, PHP, and Ruby. According to a Stack Overflow coding community user survey, Erlang is one of the top ten "most feared" programming languages. More than half of the developers questioned do not want to continue developing in Erlang. 

Read about : The Ultimate List Of 6 Most Worst Programming Languages

The House That Valim Built

Here comes José Valim. Valim genuinely liked Erlang but wanted to make it easy to use. Valim coupled the strength and robustness of Erlang with a nicer syntax that is more approachable to developers, drawing inspiration from other languages such as Ruby, Clojure, and Haskell. As a result, Elixir was born in 2012. 

Elixir, like Erlang, can support millions of concurrent connections, making it ideal for communications. For example, the gaming chat software Discord relies on Elixir to accommodate five million users simultaneously. However, seeing Elixir just as a telecom language would be a mistake. 

Elixir delivers the purpose!

With its standard library, Elixir trades some useful data structures. It effectively eliminates boilerplate while doting down the OTP hierarchies and performing other standard function calls. 

Elixir is the Scarlet Witch in the programming language multiverse — powerful and ambitious! Therefore, a special round of applause for its quote-and-unquote functionality because it ensures safe and first-class metaprogramming.

Elixir programming language is perfect for projects that feature concurrency, low latency, handle high traffic, and scale up easily. Even its founder, Jose Valim, elaborated on concurrency in his book, as the backbone of Elixir because it liberates developers from antiquated concurrency mechanisms.


Big Giants Capitalizing on Elixir

Over the years, Elixir programming language has proven to be fruitful for distributed systems like Blockchain projects, embedded systems, and real-time applications such as instant messaging, video chats, and financial apps.

Let’s delve deep into the secrets of companies using elixir and explore how they manage through it. 


Founded in 2015, Discord is a permanent, invite-only space where you can connect with communities and friends. Users can jump between videos, voice calls, and text messages, facilitating a very intimate and friendly environment to initiate natural conversations.

As time flew, it went above and beyond serving the gaming community and served the corporate world as a communication and collaboration tool. 

During its founding years, Discord chose Elixir to power its WebSocket gateway to ensure seamless functioning of relaying messaging and real-time replications. Elixir supported more than 20 servers, along with those dedicated to Fortnite and Minecraft.

In 2017, the platform handled the huge traffic of 5 million concurrent users and millions of events per second. But they didn’t seem to stop there. In 2019, Discord utilized Rust to solve the issue of immutable data structures in Elixir. Eventually, they reached the milestone of 11 million concurrent users. They also published the solution on GitHub.


Generations are familiar with the grand background of PepsiCo . The beverage giant is known for using Elixir to develop a web application for managing search marketing operations. The project closed in 2018 with noteworthy success. 

It supercharged PepsiCo's marketing and sales teams with tools to query, evaluate, and integrate with multiple search marketing partners.

The Data Engineering team collects and stores data in Snowflake Data Cloud, which is the first step in the process. According to the data characteristics, the Elixir application takes data from the Snowflake platform, pre-processes it, and saves it in one of two databases: PostgreSQL or Apache Druid. Finally, the application built on Phoenix, Elixir framework, distributes this data to internal teams and directly interfaces with third-party APIs.

Thus, different features came together to boost Elixir web app development and user experiences. It attracted engineers who were not afraid of taking risks and enthusiastic to witness how to deploy the applications while maintaining the elixir syntax.


The leading SEO tool company that lends a helping hand to companies to improve their search engine optimization decided to swipe dust off its backend architecture and introduce Elixir programming language to adorn it. 

The objective was to speed up the performance, scale the tool, and integrate enhanced features like selectable date ranges, complete campaign history, flexible in-app data segmentation, and customizable data filtering. 

Making the switch to Elixir assisted Moz in storing small data files; on average, they used 63 times less disc space than MySQL rank tables. In addition, the company was also able to increase the performance of its API by 20 times over the prior API, with average response times routinely falling below 50 milliseconds (compared to 800+ milliseconds). Overall, the straightforward deployment resulted in 30 times better construction rates. 


Pinterest joins the list of companies that benefited from the marvelous gems of Elixir. In Q3 of 2018 , the platform beguiled 250 million active users pinning around 175 billion artful items to their boards. Their skyrocketing growth was related to their switch to Elixir in 2014. The novelty of the programming language came as a risk, but the programmers took charge of the tides.

Ultimately, it helped them accelerate the performance of their notification system, delivering over 14,000 notifications per second. On the bright side, it reduced the number of servers by half, i.e., from 30 to 15! 

Moreover, Elixir assisted Pinterest in dusting off the clutter from its code, making it as clean as a whistle. The code shrunk down to around 1000 lines—a tenfold reduction. Now, Pinterest is making the most of Elixir to route more than 30,000 events per second to its in-house rule engine, aiming to prevent spam. 

Lonely Planet 

The global travel site and travel guide publisher keeps millions of unique visitors each month well-pleased. It publishes rich content using websites, mobile apps, and third-party services. However, there was a pest preying on its performance. Their web content got stuck behind Ruby on Rails applications, WordPress instances, and various data stores.

Their goal was to serve web and mobile app content more quickly and with an interactive UI. It demanded a novel data model, a cleaner API, and a much more scalable infrastructure.

After multiple failed iterations, the company outsourced Elixir developers that constructed several microservices. The Elixir microserver with API sub-service used the Phoenix web framework to build a channel between visitors and available lodging from and HostelWorld. 

Then, we have an Elixir microservice that manages the books and ebooks inventory from a custom eCommerce system backed by a Microsoft SQL server. To sum up, they implemented a robust architecture using Elixir that escalated their performance and lowered the memory requirements. 


Explore the Grounding Features of Elixir

It is time to learn about features of Elixir that have bewitched business owners and developers and brace yourself because you are about to join the list! 

BEAM Concurrency 

BEAM Concurrency is a feature that plays a significant role in Elixir’s support for scalability, fault tolerance, and distribution. It provides the medium to identify a process crash and take remediating actions for it. For instance, restarting the crashed process.

This action makes it convenient for developers to build stable systems that recover gracefully from unexpected errors and deceitful bugs, which are usually known for stealing the spotlight during production. 

Immutable Data

Elixir, being a functional programming language, favors immutable data by default. It implements immutability unconditionally, making it less error-prone. 

First, it is easy to use because it reduces the huge swath of things that we have to upload into brain RAM. Second, it destroys and eliminates a high class of bugs related to mutation and shared state. Third, it is supported by versatile libraries. 

Language Conceptualization

The Elixir programming language offers clear syntax, patterns, and design that aid in the creation and understanding of this functional language's diverse, often complex, topics.

In Elixir, your developers will encounter the following types: 

Furthermore, variables in Elixir can store any data. They use snake_case to store referenced data throughout your application. 

To learn more about Elixir syntax, get in touch with ARFASOFTECH today ! We are eager to help you and your fellow developers remove wooden logs permitting the smooth flow of your process. With high respect for our values, we come knocking on your door with a free consultation and an elixir guidebook. All you have to do is schedule a call! 

Famous Elixir Web Framework

that is most directly connected to the prevailing web development environment. On GitHub, it has 17.1K stars. It currently boasts a large user base and is often regarded as the premier alternative for Elixir development.

Constant User Management — It maintains track of the users who are connected on all nodes. Phoenix has "Channels and Presence" technology that ensures all active users are attended to and tallied.
MVC-like Programming Pattern — Phoenix is a web development framework that uses the Model View Controller architecture for functionality. It provides the same functionality while enhancing on complexity. With its features, Phoenix focuses on the business domain and promotes efficiency within any portfolio. Furthermore, it promotes code maintainability and comprehension.
Versatility — Phoenix comes packed with features essential for web development interfaces. It includes a variety of tools that enable any seasoned developer to create a web app. It also makes use of Erlang to aid with improved server connections. The story doesn’t end here. This fierce framework also utilizes Erlang to eliminate cache management layers in order to decrease operational complications.
Toolkits   — It has a lot of tools that make it an excellent choice for developers. For instance, it supports the inclusion of a dashboard, which may help with corporate apps and other functions.


It's finally here! Phoenix LiveView makes use of server-rendered HTML and Phoenix's native WebSocket technology to allow you to create elaborate real-time features without the need for complex JavaScript. If you've had a rough day with JS, this is the library for you!

LiveView is a server-centric application. You no longer need to manage both the client and the server to keep everything in sync. As changes occur on the server, LiveView automatically updates the client.

LiveView is displayed statically as part of standard HTTP requests, which allows for faster "First Meaningful Paint" timings while also assisting search and indexing engines.

Then, between client and server, LiveView employs a persistent connection. This enables LiveView apps to respond to user events more quickly since there is less work to be done and less data to be transmitted when compared to stateless requests, which must authenticate, decode, load, and encode data on each request.


Ecto is the Elixir ecosystem's go-to database toolkit, typically used to communicate with SQL databases such as Postgres and MySQL. It is quite powerful and may be used for all database interactions, including adding, verifying, updating, and querying data. Here is an example;  

Perks of Hiring Elixir Developers From ARFASOFTECH

Finding Elixir developers can be challenging as it is still treated as a newbie in the tough realm of programming languages. Most importantly, the cost of hiring developers varies from region to region. However, ARFASOFTECH appears as your knight in shining armor because we can have the elixir to cure all your development issues. 

Our team can ease into your projects in more than one way. You just have to pick the one that reflects your needs the best. Explore your options below.

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The Future of Elixir

You have successfully ventured this far! Congratulations. 

To sum up, Elixir promises to update and improve the development experience for Erlang-powered systems. The language combines elements from several different languages, including Erlang, Clojure, and Ruby. Furthermore, Elixir has a toolbox for project management, testing, packaging, and documentation creation. 

Elixir, according to some, also reduces the entry barrier into the Erlang world while increasing developer efficiency. Because the Erlang runtime is the target platform, Elixir-based systems may use all of the Erlang ecosystem's libraries, including the battle-tested OTP framework that ships with Erlang.

Read our well-structured Programming Language articles to gain valuable insights to kickstart your project. 

Now, the focus should be on the “Real World Elixir”. It is time to develop a project with its grounding realities embedded in the Elixir programming language. 

So, contact us right away because we are more than a typical software development company. We treat you like a VIP with exclusive trial and consultation privileges.


Hire Elixir Developers


Fahad Ali, Author

Fahad is PM at ARFASOFTECH but has a knack for writing. He enjoys writing about the latest technologies and evolving trends. Most of his writings revolve around trending technologies and their integration into operations.

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