This year we are sponsoring the Elixir conference in Lisbon as a Diversity & Inclusion sponsor. Together with the other sponsors, we as a company have specific goals that we would like to achieve through our sponsorship of the Elixir conference. We discussed with Markus Kuhnt to get his perspective, goals and opinion on sponsoring Elixir, but before we get to his perspective, let's talk about what Elixir is.
The ecosystem around the BEAM is considered to be one of the most powerful technology platforms in the FinTech business. Elixir is a functional programming language that sits on top of the BEAM virtual machine. Originally the BEAM was developed by engineers at Ericsson and targeted the Erlang Runtime System. Both BEAM and Elixir are splendid choices when it comes to challenges in the banking and finance industry.
The BEAM and thus Elixir provides a superior concurrency model, a rock solid and robust runtime, and most importantly very effective means to implement fault tolerant distributed systems. In short, Elixir is the black magic of the FinTech industry.
Jannat: Markus, what motivated Starfish to sponsor the Elixir Conference?
Markus: “Our company's mission is to deepend our relationship with the Elixir community, integrate further into it, and most importantly, also support it. Through communication and idea exchanges with the engineers and developers, we will be able to accomplish this goal. Moreover, we are looking forward to recruiting more talents into our Starfish team since this technology fits our payments focus perfectly!”
Jannat: Tell us more about it. How does Starfish use Elixir and what is the success with Elixir?
Markus: “I started by personal journey with Erlang about 30 years ago - it actually was my first programming language. Based on the long term experience and a lot of personal success with the BEAM, we were motivated to invest more into the technology and build large parts of our own product suite on top of it. We use Elixir to develop the backend services in Hellgate, which is a hyper-scale payment gateway technology, that we provide to our global enterprise customers. With Hellgate they can construct complex payment systems that expand flexibly as their businesses grow.”
Jannat: Can you speak to the unique advantages that Elixir offers for building scalable and efficient applications?
Markus: “It has its roots in the early days of mobile communications (it was invented at Ericsson) and elegantly solves some of the most difficult problems in computer science (e.g. concurrency). So whenever there is concurrency and many small interactions that need to be operated on a robust platform, the technology shines. In the end also payments match that problem nicely. Another aspect that makes Elixir shine is that it puts "allow it to fail" at the center. That might sound strange, but it encourages engineers to write highly robust software.”
Jannat: With this experience, how does Starfish contribute to the Elixir community and ecosystem?
Markus: “We're looking forward to meeting Elixir developers and engineers at the conference, sharing our experience with the language and framework so far, and exploring new ways we might be able to collaborate in the future. Overall, we see a lot of potential in the Elixir ecosystem and are excited to become more involved.”
Jannat: What do you hope attendees will take away from the conference and Starfish’s presence there?
Markus: “Our hope is to make a strong, positive impression on the attendees of this year's Elixir conference, so that after their conversation with us, they will have an understanding of what our company is, what our culture is, and how we do things. We are looking forward to embarking on our Starfish adventure with the potential talent that we will come across and that will fit into our corporate culture.”
Jannat: How do you see the Elixir community evolving and growing in the coming years?
Markus: “I believe that the Elixir community will evolve and grow in the coming years. Elixir has already gained substantial momentum and seems to evolve even further into the finance industry but also into machine learning and other domains.”
Jannat: Why did you choose to sponsor as a Diversity & Inclusion sponsor?
Markus: “Since we are a remote company with an international team, we thought it was ideal for us to be a diversity and inclusion sponsor. We believe that prioritizing diversity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do for our employees, but also makes our company stronger, more innovative, and better equipped to serve a diverse global customer base.”
Edditors’ note: If you're interested in learning more about the company's diverse & inclusive culture, please read our article on diversity and inclusion at Starfish.
Jannat: How does Starfish stay at the forefront of innovation?
Markus: “At Starfish, we stay at the forefront of innovation with Elixir and other cutting-edge technologies by tackling problems from the ground up. We never just apply solutions without looking beyond context and implications and we put effectiveness over scalability and efficiency (the latter is just a result of the first).”
Jannat: How does Starfish plan to continue to use and support Elixir in the future?
Markus: “We are proud & excited to be a part of the Elixir community. With our success with Elixir, upcoming conference sponsorships, developing strong relationships with the engineers, and remaining updated of the community's development, we look forward to continuing to support the Elixir community. We are incredibly excited about Elixir's present and future and are looking forward to many more chances to interact with and give back to this community that has been a big part of Starfish's journey.”
Jannat: Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. We look forward to continuing our journey with Elixir and contributing to the growth and evolution of this important community.