Stephen Bussey

CTO at Supered

Steve Bussey is a software architect turned startup founder. He led the introduction of Elixir to an all-Ruby team, resulting in successful adoption of Elixir. Now, he uses Elixir to build his startup—Supered. He wrote “From Ruby to Elixir”, which introduces readers to Elixir using their Ruby background. He also wrote Real-Time Phoenix, which teaches readers how to build scalable real-time Elixir applications. Steve is passionate about sharing Elixir due to the positive impact it has had on how he designs and develops applications.

From Ruby to Elixir: Elevate Your Engineering Team Without Fear

Introducing Elixir into an existing tech stack is a lot of risk, work, but also can provide a ton of value. This talk covers the ins and outs of how I helped adopt Elixir into an all-Ruby stack.

We’ll look at soft skills such as how to get buy in at the executive level, how to push for adoption across teams, and how to support the team through different phases. These topics are easy to overlook—the tech is shiny after all—but are crucial to a successful roll out.

It’s not all soft skills though, a lot of engineering effort goes into adding a language to your stack, so I’ll cover tangible patterns and techniques that can help you on your journey.

With the right plan, technical patterns, and a lot of grit—you’ll be on your way to adopting Elixir into your existing tech stack!

Key Takeaways:

  • This talk will be a mix of theory, practical advice, and stories from how I actually did this in practice. The audience must learn about the difference between considering business needs, soft skills needed, and the technical skills needed to launch.

Here are some of the key takeaways you should have after this talk:

  • Why would a business want to or not want to make a language switch?
  • Is a partial language switch a success? Or is going “all-in” needed to succeed? What goals equate to success?
  • Who is responsible for the rollout and how should they view their role?
  • What will a team think about during the roll out?
  • How can the team be best supported with engineering questions or problems they run into?
  • How can we actually slot Elixir into an existing tech stack?
  • How can design patterns like microservices or “strangler pattern” help us through a transition?
  • What can we code to make it easier for the team to write code?
  • What is the 1, 3, 5 year plan?

It’s really easy to focus on the technical side only, or think too short term. So a successful outcome will be the audience considering these points.

Target Audience:

  • This talk is most likely to appeal to an engineer that has thought about bringing Elixir to their tech stack but is not sure how to actually do it. Or they tried to roll it out, failed, and want to know how they could do better.