Quinn Wilton

Collector of Dead Languages

Quinn is a frequent contributor to open-source Elixir libraries, enjoys hacking away on programming languages in her free time, and watches far too many old movies for someone her age. Originally from Canada, she's spent most of her adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Past Activities

Quinn Wilton
Code BEAM America 2021
03 Nov 2021
09.15 - 10.00

100 Years of Erlang

While Erlang first became commercially available in 1990, the language boasts a rich history leading up to that point, and many of the ideas we consider to be unique to the ecosystem instead trace their lineage back to far older technologies.


Using that history as a guide, this talk attempts to recontextualize our present understanding of the language, so that we're able to look toward some of the futures that may lie ahead.

Quinn Wilton / Robert Virding
Code BEAM Europe 2022
20 May 2022
09.05 - 09.50

Backtracking through Time and Space in Erlang

Erlang grew out of experiments in logic programming in the 80s, but very little of that heritage remains today. This talk revisits those early days to explore the ideas that were borrowed from Prolog, the ideas that were forgotten, and the ideas that we may yet revisit in the future.

We'll discuss the connections between the earliest implementations of Erlang and modern metaprogramming techniques, how Elixir's pipe operator relates to parsing, and what declarative programming can teach us about distributed shared memory. All of these ideas will come together in an exploration of how the BEAM ecosystem can leverage these techniques today to shape the way we might write code in the future!

Quinn Wilton
Code BEAM V Europe
20 May 2021
14.20 - 15.00

Atlas: Flexible Software Composition using Protocols

Last year, my team delivered an application that aggregated data from multiple remote services, and we produced it in a third of the time allocated.

To facilitate this pace of development, I modeled our services using Norm, composed those models using protocols, and then used property testing to verify them against the real services: enabling us to concurrently develop the frontend, backend, and upstream services.

I'll explore these patterns through an example application that demonstrates them in action.