Delving Deeper into Magic with Quinn Wilton

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Joining us on the show today is Quinn Wilton, and we have a wonderful conversation with our guest about her journey with Elixir, unusual path into programming, and her wide appreciation for different languages! We start off looking at the time Quinn spent at Waterloo University and what separates the Canadian ethos around computer science. From there, we turn to Quinn's early work in programming, the first proper job that she stepped into, and the immediate affinity she felt for working in Elixir. We also talk a bit about the interesting research that Quinn has been conducting privately, tracking and plotting the path of Erlang over the decades, while also reflecting on the skill of academic reading. We spend some necessary time hearing from Quinn about the BEAM and what BEAM magic means to her, before hearing about her website, love of Twitter, other languages that currently have her excited, and the avenues she is most lit up about exploring in the future! Listen in to hear it all, as we continue this journey!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Quinn's reflections on her education in Canada, and differences to the American approach to computer science.
  • Reasons that Quinn wanted to pursue a career in programming
  • The first jobs that Quinn landed as a programmer; creating a Roblox game and tracking malware.
  • How Quinn was introduced to Elixir and the immediate love she felt for the language.
  • The recent work that Quinn has been busy with researching and tracing the history of Erlang.
  • Experiences of reading academic papers and what sets it apart from other formats.
  • The inspiration behind Quinn's website and her affinity for Twitter's format.
  • Quinn's favorite characteristics of the BEAM: the debugging possibilities.
  • The project that Quinn worked on using Gleam on the BEAM and her enjoyment of its simplicity.
  • Some possible areas, outlined by Joe Armstrong, that Quinn is excited to explore in the near future.
  • Quinn's huge appreciation for different programming languages and her fascination with Strand.
  • Encouragement from Quinn to dive into reading intimidating research papers.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

SmartLogic — https://smartlogic.io/jobs
Quinn Wilton — https://quinnwilton.com/
Quinn Wilton on Twitter — https://twitter.com/wilton_quinn
Quinn Wilton on GitHub — https://github.com/QuinnWilton
University of Waterloo — https://uwaterloo.ca/
Roblox — https://www.roblox.com/
Lookout — https://www.lookout.com/
Clint Gibler — https://clintgibler.com/
Gleam — https://gleam.run/
Joe Armstrong — https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/may/08/joe-armstrong-obituary
'Getting Erlang to talk to the outside world' — https://www.researchgate.net/publication/2549678_Getting_Erlang_to_talk_to_the_outside_world
Universal Binary Format — https://github.com/ubf/ubf
CLU — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CLU_(programming_language)
Strand — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strand_(programming_language)

Special Guest: Quinn Wilton.

114 episodes