Functional Geekery Episode 100 – Mark Allen

In this episode I talk with Mark Allen. We talk his introduction to Erlang, deployment, Mark’s various projects, lessons in distributed applications, and much more.

Our Guest, Mark Allen

@bytemeorg on Twitter
mrallen1 on Github

Conference Announcements

EuroClojure will be taking place in Berlin, Germany on July 20th & 21st. Visit for more information and to keep updated.

BusConf will be taking place the 3rd-5th of August in Frankfurt, Germany. Registration is open, and more information can be found at

Elixir.LDN will be taking place on August 17th. To help encourage inclusion and diversity 30 Free Scholarship places are available. Visit to find out more and register.

The Strange Loop coming! It will be held in St. Louis, MO on September 28-30, 2017 at the Peabody Opera House. To submit your CfP, visit

PWLConf 2017 will be taking place September 28th in St. Louis, MO, before Strange Loop. Visit for more information and to stay updated on latest announcements.

Open FSharp will be taking place the 28th-29th of September in San Francisco, California. Visit for more information and to register.

RacketCon is October 7th & 8th at the University of Washington, with keynote speakers Dan Friedman and Will Byrd. Visit for more information and to register.

LambdaWorld will be taking place in Cadiz, Spain on October 26th and 27th. For more information visit and to keep updated visit

CodeMesh is coming up November 8th and 9th in London. For more information, and to keep an eye open for registration, visit

Moonconf will be taking place the 9th-11th of November. For more information visit

If you have a conference related to functional programming, contact me, and I will be happy to announce it.


Some of you have asked how you can support Functional Geekery, in that vein,
Functional Geekery now has a Patreon Page.

If that is one of the ways you would like to show your support, you can
find out more at

Topics [@4:43]

About Mark
How Mark moved from systems administration to software development
Alert Logic
Microsoft Orleans
Mark’s first exposure to Erlang
Erlang’s virtues as stumbling blocks to newcomers to Erlang
Understanding loops via recursion
Seeing the power of Erlang with long running concurrent tasks
“[Erlang] makes easy things hard, and hard things easy”
Moving from understanding syntax to thinking in processes
Messages and Mailboxes as a means to concurrency
“If you do have surprises, it’s because you forgot to update that part of the state”
Making the transition to deeper distributed computing with Erlang
Riak Core
“[In Riak Core] the unit of computation is a VNode”
Reid Draper on Functional Geekery Episode 6
Continuing to fall victim to the fallacies of distributed computing
The Network is Reliable
Deployment story of Erlang
“Your team owns the code… You own the problem the entire time”
AWS and Docker
Project to build a repository behind the company firewall
Administrating Erlang
Error logging and potential to crash the vm with large state
Erlang/OTP release 20.0
Erlang hot-code loading compared to deployment with Amazon AWS and Docker
Ability to patch long running services while still running
“Don’t be intimidated by Erlang”
Way Erlang has changed the way Mark thinks in other languages
Alert Logic is hiring if you want to write Erlang day-to-day
Examples of good Erlang structure
Erlang User Conference 2017
Sagas in Erlang
Curry On Barcelona
The Sharp Edges of Leaky Abstraction

As always, a giant Thank You goes to David Belcher for the logo design.

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