Elixir Wizards
Elixir Wizards
Feb 4, 2021
Alexandra Chakeres on Moving Towards an Inclusive Elixir Community
Play • 48 min

Despite its welcoming character, the Elixir community struggles with diversity; as the 2020 ElixirConf community survey shows, only 2% of Elixirists are women. Today we speak with Blinker software engineer Alexandra Chakeres about her experience of the community, as well as what we can do to make it more inclusive. We open by exploring Alexandra’s background and coding career. After expressing her enthusiasm for the Turing School, we talk about Alexandra’s learn-by-doing approach to picking up Elixir. She shares how she landed her first Elixir job before we chat about her current role at Blinker. We discuss why the small size of the community means that Alexandra doesn’t recommend Elixir to coding beginners. We then dive into the topic of Elixir diversity, touching on factors that limit inclusivity, including how few Elixir positions are available for juniors. Alexandra unpacks solutions, like how organizations can shift their hiring pipeline and the need to approach diversity organizations with openings. Later, listeners will enjoy our mini-feature segment where we interview Instinct Science engineer Bill Peregoy about how their team uses Elixir. Tune in for more on what we can do to create a more diverse community.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Hear how co-host Sundi Myint first met Alexandra.
  • Alexandra shares details about her coding background.
  • Why Alexandra feels so passionately about Turing Boot Camp.
  • Details about Alexandra’s first Elixir job.
  • What Alexandra’s current team builds in Elixir and her experience using umbrella apps.
  • Comparing Ruby with Elixir and insights into what Elixir is missing.
  • Why Alexandra doesn’t recommend that junior engineers first learn Elixir.
  • How restricted Elixir hirings lead to a lack of diversity in the community.
  • Exploring ways to make the Elixir community more diverse.
  • What Alexandra most enjoys about coding in Elixir.
  • Alexandra’s top advice for minorities in the Elixir community.
  • Why it’s up to all of us to create a more inclusive community.
  • We talk to Bill Peregoy about how the team at Instinct Science uses Elixir.
  • Bill’s challenges and benefits to writing in Elixir.
  • How Bill would help new hires learn Elixir.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

SmartLogic — https://smartlogic.io/
Elixir Wizards Email — podcast@smartlogic.io
Alexandra Chakeres on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandrachakeres/
Alexandra Chakeres on GitHub — https://github.com/chakeresa
Blinker — https://www.blinker.com/
ElixirConf — https://elixirconf.com
Brian Cardarella — https://twitter.com/bcardarella
Turing School — https://turing.io/
Angelfire — https://www.angelfire.lycos.com/
Melvin Cedeno — https://twitter.com/thecraftedgem
Weedmaps — https://weedmaps.com/
Denver Erlang and Elixir Meetup — https://www.meetup.com/Denver-Erlang-Elixir/
DC |> Elixir Meetup — https://www.meetup.com/DC-Elixir/
DispatchHealth — https://www.dispatchhealth.com/
Autotrader — https://www.autotrader.com/
José Valim - https://github.com/josevalim
Diversified Tech — https://www.diversifytech.co/
Women Who Code D.C — https://www.womenwhocode.com/dc
Bruce Tate — https://twitter.com/redrapids
Bill Peregoy on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/billperegoy/
Instinct Science — https://www.instinct.vet/
AppSense — https://www.ivanti.com/company/history/appsense

Special Guests: Alexandra Chakeres and Sundi Myint.

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