'Exciting Elixir' with Women Who Code

One of the things about Onfido that never ceases to impress me is the enthusiasm people put in learning new things and sharing them. The weekly Lunch & Learn sessions are just one of the many ways in which we share ideas and skills within our company, with topics ranging from 'How the Internet works' through to Thomas Hardy poetry and 'The Philosophy of Time'.

The nature of this environment got me excited about the idea of extending these learning opportunities to anyone interested, both inside and outside the Onfido team. I decided to get in touch with the girls at Women Who Code (London) to organise a technical meetup in our London offices, and just a few weeks later we were hosting our first coding workshop: ‘Exciting Elixir!’.


Paulo Pereira, our Elixir expert at Onfido, opened the event with a lightning talk on the features of Elixir, focusing on some of its strong points, such as concurrency, processes and distribution.

The core of the event consisted in a hands-on workshop led by Tetiana Dushenkivska, who took us through the process of building a real-time chat with Elixir, Phoenix and ES6. The majority of attendees were women, and it was thrilling to see so much diversity in the room. Participants had different degrees of coding experience, from beginners to working professionals, but were mostly new to the language.

The one and half hour workshop gave a great insight into Elixir as well as Phoenix, one of the most popular Elixir frameworks. Among Phoenix's strongest features, it highlighted its real-time capabilities based on channels that are able to provide real-time client/server communication.

The final talk by Keith Salisbury was a demo of a multiplayer game built using Elixir and Phaser. It demonstrated the capabilities of these technologies and served as an inspiration on the variety of fun and challenging projects you can build with it.


Overall, it was a fantastic event where attendees learned about the features of a new functional programming language, coding in pairs or small groups. Workshops are a great way to learn new skills and network, and I can’t wait to organise the next one. Stay tuned!

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Resources
  • You can find the Github repository with the chat application here.
More on Elixir

Elixir is a "dynamic, functional language designed for building scalable and maintainable applications". You will find more about Elixir on Paulo Pereira's blog profile, where he experiments and tests this flexible language.

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Stefania is a back-end software engineer at Onfido. The proud owner of the coolest hair in the office, Stefania is the lead guitarist in a London underground band and speaks four languages fluently.
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