Elm Bark barking mad about Elm

About Elm Bark

Poots’ Purpose

Elm has really triggered a bout of curiosity and creativity. So much so that in December 2015 I quit my job to focus on learning Elm and committed to sharing everything I know. Elm is incredibly simple, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is easy to pick up.

If you come from JavaScript or Ruby, like I did, there is a conceptual leap to make into the world of Functional Programming. Elm is certainly the best way to do that, but there is a curve.

This site is a way of chronicling the journey both for my benefit and for yours. I have found Elm to be the perfect muse. After many false blogging dawns Elm has revitalised my writing habit.

Why am I doing this?

For you

When I started learning to program I had no formal Computer Science background. I stumbled upon Ruby on Rails as a better alternative to PHP or Java but at the time (2007) Ruby and Rails were not very well known and there were not very many learning materials available.

The professional resources that were available sat outside my student budget and being holed up at University in a small town in Scotland, there was very little in the way of community or mentorship. Therefore I learned the intricacies of Rails by reading blogs and tutorials online. I remain grateful that many people were so ready and willing to share their knowledge so freely.

This is a way of giving back by paying it forward in a similar fashion. I hope you learn something here.

For me

It also doubles as a scratch pad, helping me to clarify my thoughts, to think out loud, to put things out there for constructive criticism. It is a personal blog and will no doubt contain many of my opinions and biases. Feel free to disagree with me or correct me if you think I’ve got it wrong—I also hope to learn a lot from your input.

What’s in a Name?

So I chose the name Elm Bark for a few reasons:

The Excitement

The Journey

The Community

Who am I?

So I am Philip Poots, and I am an Elm programmer. This is a picture of me:

Philip Poots headshot

My background is Ruby, Rails, JavaScript and Ember, and now Elm. I’ve worked with and for the full gamut of businesses in my six year career, from one-man-bands, startups large and small, financial services, and the FTSE 100.

I’m currently taking a well-earned break from salaried employment and putting my money where my mouth is with a “learning sabbatical” (I keep telling people that software development would be more effective if we granted “learning leave” for at least a third of our working hours). I’d actually planned on taking a break, full stop, but then Elm came along.

I’m originally from Northern Ireland (Belfast), and after spells in Scotland (St Andrews) and England (Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne) I am now based in the Netherlands with my Dutch wife and two children.

Where to go now?

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