Functional Geekery Episode 36 – Rob Sullivan (a.k.a DataChomp)

In this episode I talk with Rob Sullivan. We talk about his entry into and experience with functional programming from the perspective of a DBA, and how functional programming languages’ massive concurrency and speed change the constraints around the database.

Our Guest, Rob Sullivan

Rob is @datachomp on Twitter


This episode is sponsored by DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean makes it quick and easy to get up running with hosting your project. New users use the promo code GEEKERY to get $10 credit when signing up.

This episode is sponsored by’s Online Mentoring has just launched. It is step-by-step online mentoring that takes you from Clojure dabbler to Clojure professional. Sign up with the link to get 50% off the first month!


LambdaDays 2016 will be taking place on the 18th and 19th of February in Kraków, Poland. The CFP and registration has opened, so make sure to visit to find out more. And make sure to use code FunkyGeekz4dWin to get 10% off registration.

:clojureD 2016 will be taking place on the 20th of February in Berlin, Germany. The CFP has opened, so make sure to visit to find out more.

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


About Rob Sullivan
How Rob went from DB to dabbling in app development
Rob Conery’s talk The Next Big Thing Or Cool-Kid Koolaid? Slicing Through The Rhetoric of MVC vs. WebForms
“Learning is cumulative [..] Everything builds on itself”
“Pretend I am an App Dev, get a job, and then take over the database”
Seeing the goodwill of the core contributors of Elixir is what attracted Rob to Elixir
First experience in Functional Programming with Clojure
“Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer”
“I haven’t met a Clojurista who isn’t extremely smart and doesn’t care about their app”
“[Clojure] taught me and showed me there was something to Functional Programming”
Rob’s experience getting into Elixir
The benefit and fun of just playing with other languages with others
How Elixir got onto Rob’s radar
PostgreSQL is suddenly the bottleneck
The interest in the BEAM for day job from an Operations perspective
Rails’ Active Record vs Jeremy Evans’ Sequel
Feature richness of PostgreSQL and the problems of having abstractions that limit those features
Not having control of your PostgreSQL instance when deploying
PostgreSQL being the bottleneck in Elixir
Concurrency and isolation levels
Lack of current visibility about data access behavior in Elixir
Functional programming languages ability for massive concurrency when using the database
“Is it fair to attribute problems to Postgres when you’ve thrown it in a place with shared resources”
Microservices and the separation of reads vs writes against the database
Dealing with the differences of a “shared” vocabulary
Virtual User Groups
Paul Lamb
Benefits of smaller groups and lack of travel
“It pulls them out and gets them involved”
Throw Discourse on Digital Ocean
“Take a couple of hours to play with something new”
“Always email me at [email protected] and I will reply within a month or two.”

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

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