You have many choices when it comes to programming languages, depending on your needs. Python is often recommended for beginners because it is easy to read and understand. For more complex applications, however, Java is better suited.

This article discusses two languages that are closely related: Elixir and Erlang. For a better understanding of which language is right for your project, let’s look at both languages closely.

An overview of Erlang

Virding, Armstrong, and Williams developed Erlang in 1986. Ericsson was the exclusive owner of this tool at the time. Erlang was later released as an open-source programming language by Ericsson in 1998.

This functional programming language is used by developers to create computer systems that handle large amounts of traffic. Erlang is also used by system administrators to implement soft real-time calculations in real-time applications.

Erlang’s pros and cons

Continuity and parallelism

Designed to accommodate multiple CPU cores, Erlang programs can benefit from today’s multicore processors.

Tolerance for failure

In contrast to languages such as C or Java, the Erlang programming language is extremely fast and highly reliable. By restarting Erlang processes automatically, a crash can be minimized and errors can be prevented from spreading throughout the system.

Difficult to learn

Object-oriented programmers often find functional programming concepts difficult to implement, although they are not difficult to understand in theory. Erlang has a unique syntax and semantics (inspired by Prolog), so inexperienced Erlang programmers may have some difficulties learning how to write programs in it.

The lack of library support

The number of libraries suitable for Erlang is still relatively small compared to other languages. The language may require the developer to write their code or learn a new language.

An overview of Elixir

In contrast to interpreted languages like Ruby, Elixir compiles down to bytecode that can run under the Erlang Virtual Machine. A major difference between Ruby and Elixir is the way concurrency is handled – Elixir uses actor-based concurrency instead of thread-based concurrency. The Elixir language does not use method overloading but instead relies on pattern matching. This leads to more declarative and easy-to-read code.

As a result of Elixir’s use of the Erlang Virtual Machine (VM), this language is known for scalability, fault tolerance, and low latency. It’s also used for web development and embedded software applications.

Elixir’s pros and cons

Functional programming language

As a result, it features pure functions and immutable data structures. Larger projects tend to benefit from functional languages since they are generally easier to reason about than imperative languages.


Code can be written quickly thanks to its concise syntax. Getting up and running with Elixir is also a breeze thanks to its excellent tooling support.

Ideal for scalable applications

In Elixir, concurrency and fault tolerance are built into the Erlang virtual machine.

Growing community

There are still opportunities to get support and help when you need it, even though it’s not as large as some other languages.

Relatively new

Unlike a 90s language, Elixir is a 2010s language. In addition, stability was taken into consideration when designing it.

Friendly and modern syntax

Additionally, its hygienic macro system provides much more flexibility than Erlang’s metaprogramming capabilities. Unfortunately, this comes at a price,  if macros are used incorrectly or prematurely, the codebase can become convoluted, making debugging and reading difficult.