Meet The Code BEAM V America Program Committee

Garrett Smith 08.02.2021

Garrett Smith is founder of Guild AI, an open source toolset for running and comparing machine learning experiments. Prior to founding Guild AI, Garrett developed CloudBees platform-as-a-service using Erlang as the control and communications plane.

- Why do you love the BEAM - briefly re-share why you love using Erlang or Elixir?

The BEAM is great because it gives developers a process oriented model for programs. Process orientation is traditionally limited to operating systems that isolate processes and avoid shared memory. You see this at work in systems of programs. The BEAM makes this model available to individual programs and thereby trains the programmer to think in terms of system development rather than merely sequential execution.

- Why are you excited to be on the Code BEAM V America program committee?

Because the Erlang and Elixir communities are full of bright, creative, and supportive engineers who are committed to building fault tolerant, scalable, low latency systems. 

- Code BEAM is committed to encouraging diversity and inclusion in the tech community - what are your thoughts on this important issue?

Diversity is nature's not-so-secret sauce for solving tough problems. Diversity is worth investing in. A commitment to diversity challenges established assumptions of merit and function and explores frontiers that would otherwise be missed. Apart from its utility, diversity is a hallmark of humankind and should be nurtured simply because it quite literally defines who we are.

Apply to the Diversity & Inclusion program

Bonus questions

 - What is the worst mistake you’ve made while programming and what was the outcome?

My worst mistake was implementing a large number of the patterns from GoF Design Patterns book. The outcome was a pile of crap.

- Top tip for a new programmer looking to learn more about Erlang or Elixir?

 This is a good question. Keep this to yourself. Use Erlang. Power through the problems with docs, tutorials, the community, etc. The process of working through these issues will keep you "closer to the wire" which makes all the difference in programming.

- Apple or Android?

Never Apple. Open source Android ideally.

- What career advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Read the progressive dissidents carefully. The conservative libertarian dogma you're parroting is not intellectually honest. Grow the fuck up.


Code BEAM V America 10-12 March

Garrett Smith

Garrett Smith