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Programmer Passport: OTP

May 13, 2020

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Our friends at Groxio continue their tribute to Joe Armstrong, with Programmer Passport: OTP now available. This course will have three instructional videos with every release—for 12 total—with four chapters and two projects to help you learn quickly.

Programmer Passport: OTP

Elixir and Erlang systems can spawn applications with hundreds of thousands of processes without skipping a beat, and perhaps the most important feature in either of these languages is OTP.

OTP is a set of libraries and APIs that enable applications with extraordinary reliability and scalability through concurrency. In the next four releases, we’ll cover the main two abstractions that make up OTP: the boundary and lifecycle layers.

In this first chapter, we’ll build a calculator application without OTP. We’ll use native processes and message passing rather than the OTP library. Using this approach, you will develop an intuition for how OTP works. Then, we’ll wrap the application in an API, and show how we might implement that API using OTP instead.

In chapter 2, we’ll look at communication between servers. You can think of a GenServer as a template for your code. You can fill in the blanks with callbacks, bits of code you’ll implement in your own modules. When we work with OTP, the GenServer library builds the generic lifecycle management and message loops, leaving the rest to your application.

The GenServer calls your application’s callback functions at specific times. When things break down, OTP just turns it off and on again!

Want to learn more? Subscribe to Programmer Passport at!

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Upcoming Author Appearances

  • 2020-05-14 Alex Miller,
    Gateway JUG, St. Louis
  • 2020-05-14 Johanna Rothman,
    Agile Africa webinar
  • 2020-05-19 Johanna Rothman,
    PMI Wash DC
  • 2020-05-21 Johanna Rothman,
    PMI Webinar: Portfolio Management During a Pandemic
  • 2020-05-30 Jeff Langr,
    Mob Programming Conference 2020, Boston, MA, US
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    Coming Soon:

    • Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager, in print
    • Testing Elixir, in beta
    • Using Elixir for Graphs, in beta
    • 555 Timers and How to Use Them, in beta

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