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Competing with Unicorns and Programmer Passport: Elixir

March 18, 2020

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Let's face it, it's been a hard week, and it's only Wednesday. The good news is that Jonathan Rasmusson's eagerly-awaited project, Competing with Unicorns: How the World’s Best Companies Ship Software and Work Differently is now complete and in print.

Also this week, our friends at continue their tribute to Joe Armstrong with Programmer Passport: Elixir. Read on for details.

As times get harder, you need every bit of help you can get. Start here.

Competing with Unicorns: How the World’s Best Companies Ship Software and Work Differently

Massively successful tech companies, or Unicorns, have discovered how to take the techniques that made them successful as a startup and scale them to the enterprise level. Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Spotify all work like startups, despite having workforces numbering in the tens of thousands. Ex-Spotify engineer and coach, Jonathan Rasmusson, takes you behind the scenes and shows you how to develop software the way the best companies do it.

Learn how to give teams purpose through Missions, empower and trust with Squads, and align large scale efforts through Bets. Create the culture necessary to make it happen.

If you're a tech or product lead and you want to ship product better, this is your playbook on how the world’s best do it. If you're an engineer, tester, analyst, or project manager, and you suspect there are better ways you could be working, you are correct. This book will show you how. And if you're a manager, Agile coach, or someone just charged with improving how your company ships software, this book will give you the tools, techniques, and practices of the world’s most innovative, delivery-focused companies. Don’t just admire the top companies—learn from them.

Now in print: The ebook is content complete and available from For the paperback edition, please support your local independent bookstore.

Programmer Passport: Elixir

Elixir was created in 2011 by José Valim, who was working on a research project for Plataformatec. The long-time Ruby core team member wanted to build a language that was better at solving the problems he was finding at his consultancy. He found his footing in Joe Armstrong's Erlang. In 2014, the Elixir movement began to pick up steam, and the first ElixirConf was held in Austin, Texas. In 2015, the Phoenix web server began to pick up speed with the publishing of Programming Phoenix, and several shocking benchmarks that showed Elixir's incredible scalability. In the years since, more libraries and frameworks were added to the platform. The Nerves framework allows Elixir on embedded systems. The Scenic framework allows a native user interface.

Elixir is approachable because of its fantastic documentation, clear error messages, and excellent tooling. Many of these ideas were borrowed from other communities such as Ruby, and they make a big difference in language adoption. Elixir is among the more popular functional languages, with many deployments from successful commercial companies such as Bleacher Report and

Curious? Subscribe to's Programmer Passport at!

Upcoming Author Appearances

  • 2020-03-24 Venkat Subramaniam,, Broomfield, Colorado
  • 2020-03-25 Ethan Garofolo,, Broomfield, Colorado
  • 2020-04-01 George Dinwiddie,
    TriAgile 2020, Raleigh NC
  • 2020-04-03 Craig Walls,
    Gateway Software Symposium
  • 2020-04-07 Diana Larsen,
    Portland, OR USA
  • 2020-04-08 Adam Tornhill,
    Heisenbug, St, Petersburg, Russia
  • 2020-04-17 Craig Walls,
    Northern Virginia Software Symposium (NFJS)
  • 2020-04-21 Fred Hebert,
    Web à Québec
  • 2020-04-29 James Stanier,
    Brighton Java
  • 2020-04-29 Adam Tornhill,
    Chicago, USA
  • 2020-04-30 Adam Tornhill,
    Chicago, USA
  • 2020-05-01 Craig Walls,
    Salt Lake Software Symposium
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    Coming Soon:

    • Programming Machine Learning, in print
    • Distributed Services with Go, in beta
    • Real-Time Phoenix, in print
    • Mastering SwiftUI, in beta

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