An interview with Pavlo Baron (@pavlobaron)
Hi there! Today you may read in this blog post my interview to Pavlo Baron. Pavlo is a famous german Erlang/Java developer. He is well known as the author of “Erlang/OTP: Plattform für massiv-parallele und fehlertolerante Systeme“.
Some questions, some answers
Paolo – Welcome Pavlo! First of all, would you like to tell us something about yourself and your IT background?
Pavlo – Hi Paolo, thank you for interviewing me. I’m an IT guy with now more than 20 years in the industry. I had an own company, was enterprise architect of some well-known companies and was also leading their software development. But anyway, I’m coder, and will always stay it. Right now, I’m lead architect with codecentric AG, a german consulting company, working on bleeding-edge tech.
Paolo – Why did you started using Erlang? How long did it take to you to handle such a language?
Pavlo – I had to parallelize an interest calculator back in 2005. It was written in C/C++ and had no idea about multithreading. I could parallelize the calculation, so I distributed the calculation using Erlang’s native functionality over several instances and machines. The ops didn’t want it, but since then I’m in love with Erlang. To learn the language – with Prolog experience – took about 2 weeks. But I still learn programming using the libs and frameworks – the ecosystem is huge!
Paolo – How much of your current and previous works is Erlang related? What advantages do you get by using it?
Pavlo – Right now, I’m pretty much in touch in Erlang through Riak. I’m coding hooks and different apps around this wonderful K/V store. Riak is best driven by Erlang apps, so here you go. But I use it as backend for mobile apps, which makes the whole thing much more wider.
Paolo – You are considered a famous conference speaker in Germany and in many other countries: how did you build such a reputation?
Pavlo – That’s new to me. I’m just trying to speak about my experiences, and I’m always tense if people like it. I always feel like having to jump aroung avoiding beer bottles and bad eggs flying into my face. Anyway, I learn speaking and hope people like my work. But still, it’s much easier to write.
Paolo – In the IT field, you are quite famous for your Erlang talks to Java developers: what is the method you use to “convert” them?
Pavlo – I put my thumb directly into the wound. Where Java doesn’t fit the typical use cases, I show how Erlang does. Java is eloquent, everybody knows this. So I also whow the lingual advanteges of Erlang. And as platform for special use cases. But I also show where Erlang doesn’t fit in, and I think that’s the reason why empty beer bottles don’t fly.
Paolo – You are the author of “Erlang/OTP: Plattform für massiv-parallele und fehlertolerante Systeme“, why did you decide to write this book?
Pavlo – Writing is one of the best way to learn. And there is no german literature on this topic, and there are many devs in Germany who would prefer reading in German. So I combined all these things, added some breadth overview I could’t find in other literature, and here I go.
Paolo – Nowadays we really don’t have many books about Erlang, so why did you write your own in German and not in English?
Pavlo – I will not compete with Joe’s, Francesco’s and Richard’s books. I just value them over all. Point. Plus: wait this year, and you will see 5 more books. Awesome times for Erlang!
Paolo – What is the target audience for your book? What can an Erlang newbie learn from it and what can learn an experienced Erlang developer?
Pavlo – I target for experienced developers, no noobs in programming. But you don’t need to know Erlang to read and value it. I’m writing a lot about the VM, the integration with the rest of the world, tools etc. – something, that always is interesting for a seasoned Erlang developer. I always write about professional Erlang development, which is interesting for anybody working in an agile way and using Erlang.
Paolo – Do you provide online resources related to your book? How can users send you feedbacks/errata or questions?
Pavlo – github.com/pavlobaron. You will find the whole source code from the book there. As soon as I get first feedback on errors in the book, I will open a new open repo for errata. Anybody can fork, do pull request etc. That simple.