Phoenix's learning curve is steep. I am not going to sugar-coat this book with a "this is easy" start. Buckle up for an interesting ride, especially if Elixir is your first functional programming language.

I learn best from "Hello World!" examples. I do not care about abstract ideas or programming theories. Give me a good and clean example, and I can make sense of it. If you like this kind of teaching, you are reading the right book. Please follow the code breadcrumbs I use to teach.

  • This book teaches by presenting bite-sized code examples. Think of them as breadcrumbs that’ll lead you. I’ve created these examples in a way that you can understand by reading the code. I have also added notes with explanations next to the vital source code lines.

  • This book is a step-by-step guide. We start at zero. A few chicken and egg problems are inescapable, but I keep those to a minimum. You should understand the basics of programming and HTML. Other than that, you don’t have to have any knowledge of Phoenix or Elixir.

  • I will not hesitate to oversimply stuff. I aim to get you productive in the quickest time possible. There are other resources to learn the details (e.g. the magic of OTP).

  • The web-applications in this book are not intended to become eye candy. We will not waste time and energy to make them look beautiful.

And we are not going to build one giant application in the course of the book. We tackle small problems which make sense within their realm.

If a specific chapter or section doesn’t interest you: Go ahead and skip it. You can come back later if needed.

The chapter Elixir Introduction offers a jump-start for everybody who hasn’t worked with Elixir before. You don’t have to work through all the examples. But you should read it to get the basic ideas of the language.

Stefan Wintermeyer

PS: Please do send me feedback about this book by email to and follow me on Twitter (@wintermeyer). To receive positive feedback from a reader is a happy moment for any author!

Finding Help

During or after reading this book, there will come a time where you’ll have a problem or a question. Here is my advice for those times:


    StackOverflow is my favourite spot to find help. There is a good chance somebody has already had the same problems you’re struggling with and has received answers. If not, you usually get surprisingly fast answers for new questions.


    Phoenix is not an easy-to-search-for term. There are millions of construction companies with Phoenix in their name. These links can help you build a house, but they don’t offer any programming help at all. You often want to add either Framework or Elixir to your search queries.

  • Send me an email to

    Feel free to send me an email if you can’t find the help you need. Please let me know your Elixir and Phoenix versions and other useful information (e.g. database and operating system). If possible, first create a question on and send me an email with the link to that question. With that, I can answer it for you and other users.

Remote Training

I offer a one and two-day remote Phoenix beginners training. During the training, we’ll work via remote pair programing (Visual Studio with the Live Share extension). This is an excellent way to get up to speed. No previous Elixir knowledge is needed. You just need basic programming and HTML knowledge. Please send me an email to for further information.

Onsite training is possible too. But that depends on the local coronavirus travel restrictions.