What is Erlang?

Erlang is a programming language that was designed to handle concurrent, distributed, and fault-tolerant systems with a particular focus on real-time applications. Developed by Ericsson, a Swedish telecommunications company, in the 1980s, Erlang has since gained popularity due to its robustness and scalability.

Key Features of Erlang

  • Concurrency: Erlang excels in handling multiple tasks simultaneously, allowing developers to create systems that can efficiently handle heavy loads and prioritize tasks without sacrificing performance.
  • Distribution: With built-in support for distribution, Erlang enables the development of applications that can run on multiple machines and communicate seamlessly across a network.
  • Fault Tolerance: One of the standout features of Erlang is its ability to recover from errors and handle failures gracefully. The language provides mechanisms for isolating errors, ensuring that the rest of the system remains unaffected and operational.
  • Real-Time Capabilities: Erlang's lightweight processes and low latency make it well-suited for real-time applications, such as telecommunications systems, multimedia streaming, and high-frequency trading.
  • Hot Code Swapping: Erlang allows developers to update code in a running system without interrupting its operation. This feature is especially useful in scenarios where uninterrupted service is crucial, such as telecom networks and web servers.

Why Choose Erlang?

Erlang's unique combination of concurrency, fault tolerance, and distribution makes it an ideal choice for building highly reliable and scalable applications. Its use cases range from telecommunications and banking systems to social media platforms and web services. With its simple syntax and extensive support for concurrent programming, Erlang provides developers with a powerful tool to tackle complex problems efficiently.

Whether you are a seasoned developer looking to expand your skill set or a beginner eager to explore a language known for its reliability and fault tolerance, learning Erlang opens up a world of possibilities in the realm of reliable and scalable software development.

Why Assess a Candidate's Erlang Skills?

Assessing a candidate's knowledge and ability in Erlang is crucial for businesses looking to hire top talent in the field of software development. By evaluating their understanding and experience in this powerful programming language, organizations can ensure that candidates possess the necessary skills to develop robust, concurrent, and fault-tolerant systems.

  1. Quality Assurance: Assessing a candidate's Erlang skills helps organizations maintain quality assurance in their hiring process. By evaluating their ability to write efficient Erlang code, identify errors, and handle concurrent tasks, businesses can ensure they are selecting capable candidates who can contribute effectively to their projects.

  2. Efficient Development: Erlang's unique features make it well-suited for building scalable and fault-tolerant applications. By assessing a candidate's Erlang skills, businesses can identify individuals who can efficiently utilize these features to develop real-time and distributed systems. This ensures that the development process is streamlined and that projects can be delivered on time and with minimal errors.

  3. Robust Systems: With Erlang's powerful concurrency and fault-tolerance capabilities, assessing a candidate's proficiency in this language ensures that they can develop systems that can handle heavy loads, prioritize tasks, and recover from errors gracefully. This helps businesses in creating reliable and resilient software solutions that can withstand the demands of modern-day applications.

  4. Cost Savings: By evaluating a candidate's Erlang skills before hiring, businesses can reduce the costs associated with onboarding and training. Hiring candidates with prior experience and knowledge in Erlang minimizes the need for extensive training and allows them to contribute to projects more quickly, resulting in cost savings for the organization.

By assessing a candidate's Erlang skills, businesses can make informed hiring decisions, ensure the development of reliable systems, and ultimately drive the success of their projects. Boost your organization's hiring efforts with Alooba's assessment platform, which offers comprehensive evaluations to identify top Erlang talent and their ability to contribute to your organization's success.

Assessing Erlang Skills with Alooba

Alooba's assessment platform offers a range of test types to accurately evaluate candidates' proficiency in Erlang. These assessments help organizations determine the candidates' ability to effectively work with Erlang's concurrency, fault-tolerance, and real-time capabilities, ensuring they possess the necessary skills for success.

Coding Test

Evaluating candidates' coding skills is a fundamental aspect of assessing Erlang proficiency. Alooba's coding test allows organizations to assess candidates' ability to write Erlang code, solve problems, and implement efficient solutions in a real-world coding environment. This test effectively measures candidates' understanding of Erlang syntax, modules, processes, and concurrent programming concepts.

Written Response Test

Alooba's written response test is another valuable tool for assessing Erlang knowledge. This test provides candidates with an opportunity to express their understanding of Erlang's concepts, usage scenarios, and best practices through a written response format. It allows organizations to evaluate candidates' depth of knowledge and their ability to articulate their understanding of Erlang in a clear and concise manner.

These tests, available on the Alooba assessment platform, assist organizations in accurately assessing candidates' Erlang skills. By utilizing these assessments, businesses can confidently evaluate candidates' proficiency in Erlang to make informed hiring decisions and secure top talent in the field of software development.

Topics Covered in Erlang

Erlang encompasses various essential topics that enable developers to build robust and scalable systems. Here are some of the key subtopics you can expect to explore when learning Erlang:


Concurrency lies at the core of Erlang, allowing developers to efficiently handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Topics related to concurrency in Erlang include lightweight processes, message passing, and process scheduling. Understanding these concepts is crucial for building highly concurrent and responsive applications.

Fault Tolerance

Erlang is renowned for its fault-tolerant capabilities, which enable applications to gracefully handle errors and recover from failures. Topics related to fault tolerance in Erlang include process monitoring, supervision trees, and error handling strategies. Learning how to design fault-tolerant systems in Erlang ensures the reliability and resilience of your applications.

Distributed Computing

Erlang's built-in support for distribution allows developers to create applications that span multiple machines and communicate seamlessly across a network. Topics related to distributed computing in Erlang include distributed process communication, node discovery, and data synchronization. Understanding these topics is vital for building scalable and resilient distributed systems.

Real-Time Programming

Erlang excels in real-time applications, where responsiveness and low latency are crucial. Topics related to real-time programming in Erlang include event-driven programming, timers, and message queueing. Mastery of these topics enables developers to build applications that meet real-time requirements, such as telecommunications systems and high-frequency trading platforms.

OTP Framework

The OTP (Open Telecom Platform) framework is a set of libraries and design principles that provide developers with powerful tools for building concurrent and fault-tolerant systems. Topics related to the OTP framework in Erlang include gen_server behavior, supervision strategies, and application design principles. Understanding the OTP framework empowers developers to create scalable and maintainable Erlang applications.

By exploring these subtopics within Erlang, developers can gain a comprehensive understanding of the language's capabilities and utilize them effectively to build reliable and scalable systems.

Applications of Erlang

Erlang's unique features and capabilities make it well-suited for a wide range of applications. Here are some common use cases where Erlang shines:

Telecommunications Systems

Erlang's real-time capabilities and fault-tolerant design make it an ideal choice for building telecommunications systems. Its ability to handle high concurrency and gracefully recover from errors ensures reliable and responsive communication networks.

Messaging and Chat Applications

Erlang's lightweight processes and message passing architecture are perfect for developing messaging and chat applications. Its ability to handle millions of concurrent connections with low latency makes it a preferred choice for platforms requiring real-time communication.

Distributed Systems

Erlang's built-in support for distribution allows for the development of distributed systems that span multiple machines. This makes Erlang a powerful tool for creating robust, fault-tolerant, and scalable applications in domains like distributed databases, distributed storage, and cloud computing.

Gaming and Betting Platforms

Erlang's concurrency and fault tolerance make it suitable for building highly responsive and fault-tolerant gaming and betting platforms. Its ability to handle massive amounts of simultaneous users and ensure uninterrupted service is essential for the gaming and gambling industry.

Financial and Banking Systems

The reliability and fault-tolerant nature of Erlang make it commonly used in financial and banking systems. Its ability to handle critical transactions, ensure data integrity, and recover from errors without compromising service makes it a trusted choice in this industry.

IoT (Internet of Things) Applications

Erlang's scalability and distributed capabilities make it an excellent choice for developing IoT applications. Its lightweight processes and ability to handle concurrent communication with IoT devices enable the creation of scalable and responsive IoT systems.

Web Servers and Networking

Erlang's lightweight processes and efficient message passing mechanism make it well-suited for developing high-performance web servers and networking applications. Its ability to handle concurrent connections, manage requests, and scale horizontally makes it a reliable choice for serving web content.

Erlang's versatility and robustness have led to its application across various industries and domains. From telecommunications to gaming, Erlang continues to showcase its value as a powerful programming language for building reliable and scalable systems.

Roles That Require Good Erlang Skills

Proficiency in Erlang opens up opportunities in various roles where the ability to build robust, concurrent, and fault-tolerant systems is valued. Here are some roles on Alooba that require strong Erlang skills:

  • Data Analyst: Data analysts with Erlang skills can leverage the language's concurrency features to handle real-time data processing and analysis efficiently.

  • Insights Analyst: Erlang skills are highly relevant for insights analysts who need to work with large datasets, ensuring fast and fault-tolerant data processing and analysis.

  • Analytics Engineer: With Erlang skills, analytics engineers can develop scalable and fault-tolerant data processing pipelines to manage and analyze vast amounts of data.

  • Data Architect: Data architects proficient in Erlang can design and implement reliable and distributed data systems, leveraging the language's fault-tolerant and distributed computing capabilities.

  • Data Migration Analyst and Data Migration Engineer: These roles require Erlang skills to ensure smooth and efficient data migration processes, minimizing downtime and maintaining system integrity.

  • Data Pipeline Engineer: Erlang proficiency is essential for data pipeline engineers who design and implement scalable and fault-tolerant data processing workflows.

  • Data Warehouse Engineer: Data warehouse engineers proficient in Erlang can build and maintain high-performance and fault-tolerant data warehousing solutions.

  • Demand Analyst: Erlang skills are valuable for demand analysts who need to analyze real-time data and make accurate forecasts to drive business decision-making.

  • Master Data Analyst: Master data analysts with Erlang skills can manage and optimize critical data sets using Erlang's concurrency and fault-tolerance features.

  • People Analyst: Erlang proficiency helps people analysts develop real-time and scalable systems to analyze and extract insights from people-related data.

  • Product Manager: Product managers with Erlang skills can better understand technical requirements and effectively collaborate with development teams on building reliable and fault-tolerant applications.

These are just a few examples of roles where Erlang skills are highly sought after. Acquiring proficiency in Erlang opens up exciting career opportunities in various domains, allowing you to excel in building robust and reliable software systems.

Associated Roles

Data Analyst

Data Analyst

Data Analysts draw meaningful insights from complex datasets with the goal of making better decisions. Data Analysts work wherever an organization has data - these days that could be in any function, such as product, sales, marketing, HR, operations, and more.

Data Migration Analyst

Data Migration Analyst

Data Migration Analysts specialize in transferring data between systems, ensuring both the integrity and quality of data during the process. Their role encompasses planning, executing, and managing the migration of data across different databases and storage systems. This often includes data cleaning, mapping, and validation to ensure accuracy and completeness. They collaborate with various teams, including IT, database administrators, and business stakeholders, to facilitate smooth data transitions and minimize disruption to business operations.

Data Migration Engineer

Data Migration Engineer

Data Migration Engineers are responsible for the safe, accurate, and efficient transfer of data from one system to another. They design and implement data migration strategies, often involving large and complex datasets, and work with a variety of database management systems. Their expertise includes data extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL), as well as ensuring data integrity and compliance with data standards. Data Migration Engineers often collaborate with cross-functional teams to align data migration with business goals and technical requirements.

Data Pipeline Engineer

Data Pipeline Engineer

Data Pipeline Engineers are responsible for developing and maintaining the systems that allow for the smooth and efficient movement of data within an organization. They work with large and complex data sets, building scalable and reliable pipelines that facilitate data collection, storage, processing, and analysis. Proficient in a range of programming languages and tools, they collaborate with data scientists and analysts to ensure that data is accessible and usable for business insights. Key technologies often include cloud platforms, big data processing frameworks, and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tools.

Data Warehouse Engineer

Data Warehouse Engineer

Data Warehouse Engineers specialize in designing, developing, and maintaining data warehouse systems that allow for the efficient integration, storage, and retrieval of large volumes of data. They ensure data accuracy, reliability, and accessibility for business intelligence and data analytics purposes. Their role often involves working with various database technologies, ETL tools, and data modeling techniques. They collaborate with data analysts, IT teams, and business stakeholders to understand data needs and deliver scalable data solutions.

Demand Analyst

Demand Analyst

Demand Analysts specialize in predicting and analyzing market demand, using statistical and data analysis tools. They play a crucial role in supply chain management, aligning product availability with customer needs. This involves collaborating with sales, marketing, and production teams, and utilizing CRM and BI tools to inform strategic decisions.

Insights Analyst

Insights Analyst

Insights Analysts play a pivotal role in transforming complex data sets into actionable insights, driving business growth and efficiency. They specialize in analyzing customer behavior, market trends, and operational data, utilizing advanced tools such as SQL, Python, and BI platforms like Tableau and Power BI. Their expertise aids in decision-making across multiple channels, ensuring data-driven strategies align with business objectives.

Master Data Analyst

Master Data Analyst

Master Data Analysts play a critical role in managing and maintaining the integrity of master data within an organization. They are responsible for ensuring that key data across business units, such as product, customer, and vendor information, is accurate, consistent, and up-to-date. Their expertise in data governance, data quality management, and data analysis is essential in supporting operational efficiency, compliance, and strategic initiatives. Master Data Analysts typically work with ERP systems like SAP or Oracle and are adept at collaborating with various departments to align data standards and policies.

People Analyst

People Analyst

People Analysts utilize data analytics to drive insights into workforce management, employee engagement, and HR processes. They are adept in handling HR-specific datasets and tools, like Workday or SuccessFactors, to inform decision-making and improve employee experience. Their role encompasses designing and maintaining HR dashboards, conducting compensation analysis, and supporting strategic HR initiatives through data-driven solutions.

Product Manager

Product Manager

Product Managers are responsible for the strategy, roadmap, and feature definition of a product or product line. They work at the intersection of business, technology, and user experience, focusing on delivering solutions that meet market needs. Product Managers often have a background in business, engineering, or design, and are skilled in areas such as market research, user experience design, and agile methodologies.

Other names for Erlang include Erlang Programming, and Erlang Coding.

Ready to Assess Erlang Skills?

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