You now might think: What the hell is Erlang? And a few months back I didn't even knew what exactly it was. I only knew it is a programming language, and that somehow Ericsson was involved in developing it.

For me it really started when I learned to use CouchDB, I am doing a talk about it in November/December in my company Mayflower GmbH (you are all invited, it's free and there's pizza and beer!). I think CouchDB has a nicely designed REST interface and it's simple to use yet very powerful. As always with such interresting projects, I wanted to take a look at the source code (hey it's open source and you can learn a lot of such projects by just downloading the source and read a little code, I strongly recommend this to every developer out there!).

So I read a bit of the source code of Couch and it's written mainly in Erlang. The syntax seemed a bit strange, but for me that's not a reason to leave this and look for fun somewhere else. Instead I bought me a ebook for my Kindle (it's from one of the inventors of Erlang, Joe Armstrong).

I already knew Erlang has a sometimes very strange syntax, but I found out that in Erlang, you don't have to write much code to do something. Erlang programs are said to be up to 70% smaller than for instance C programs (or PHP, Perl, Java or whatever else).

Erlang is a functional programming language, that means: no objects, classes and everything else you might know from other languages you already know. In functional programming, everything is a function, there is no mutable state as in most other languages (and that makes concurrency a lot easier). You might know Lamdas and Closures and they are mostly inspired from the functional world.

I think it's worth to learn such a language, it will give you a different view on how to solve common programming tasks. After years of programming in object-oriented languages it will give you some fresh ideas :)

I will post more articles about Erlang in the next time, so stay tuned. If you are interested in what I have learned so far, watch my repository on github.