This is an archive of the 2018 conference. Looking for the latest site? Go to
October 26-27, 2018
Aquarium Conference Center
Chattanooga, TN


A word from conference founder and head organizer Bruce Tate.

Some of the best programmers in the world are coming to Chattanooga, and you’ll want to be there to hear them.

James E Gray II and Dave Thomas both had key roles in the discovery and evolution of the Ruby language. John Hughes was on the committee that created Haskell and has worked to enhance the language since then. Stuart Halloway and myself both wrote award winning books in the Java space so we know object oriented programming.

As a conference, GigCityElixir has one overarching strength, our speakers. With six speakers who have done keynotes across two or more continents, we have access to many of the best programmers in the world. As organizers, the goal of every session is the same: to make each attendee a better programmer.

New Programming Techniques for a New World

The programming industry is in transition. The long dominant paradigm of Object Oriented Programming is giving ground to the newly revitalized school Functional Programming. Most of your old knowledge still applies, but you'll need to cock your head and squint a little to see it in new contexts. You need a program designed to bridge the gap from experts who have lived on both sides and that's exactly what we've built with GigCityElixir.

The best way to become a better programmer is to see great programmers code. We will focus on sessions that demonstrate how great programmers solve problems. Many conferences spend time on individual frameworks and tools to solve specific problems. While that is a fine approach, we offer a conference that focuses on programming principles and concepts instead.

Object Oriented Programmers

Elixir is a new programming language, but you don’t have to be an Elixir programmer to take advantage. Most of our talks will focus on techniques to solve everyday problems. For example,

  • The Java, Ruby, Python, JavaScript and C# programming languages support lambdas, or anonymous functions, yet most programmers only scratch the surface in their use. Learn to use lambdas to enforce policies and delay execution.
  • As processor designs include more cores and require more concurrency, programming without side effects becomes more important. Object oriented developers have traditionally embraced changing state but can learn techniques to improve their handling of concurrency. The final and sealed keywords, found in Java and Elixir, are examples of this. Also learn API designs that offer better layering for concurrency and strategies to handle errors.
  • Modern APIs have greater demands than ever before. Learn how to build them in layers that will make more sense to your users.

This conference represents where programming is going. Learning to be fluent in more than one language improves the tools you have to apply to each one. In short, a great programmer is a multilinguist. See how they use their tool sets to express beautiful code and learn to do more of the same yourself.

Functional Programmers

If you are interested in exploring the future of programming or are already a functional programmer, we have something for you too. With so many gifted teachers and talks that go beyond “how” to “why”, this conference will improve your everyday craft in ways both surprising and predictable.


If you are coming from a startup, learn about the techniques and tools that can give you an edge. With folks from successfully acquired startups like Bleacher Report and icanmakeitbetter, you can see talks from the folks that made those platforms scale and have conversations with people making difficult programming decisions for their businesses every day.

Can’t wait to see all of you there.

~ Bruce Tate