WhatsApp, Erlang and functional programming

WhatsApp is rapidly approaching its 500 millionth user- a benchmark that is remarkable given its humble origins just eight years ago. What’s more remarkable is that it was developed using a 20+ year-old functional programming language called Erlang that allows it to manage extremely large amounts of data with 99.999999999% uptime and a minimum of support staff – there were 32 staff supporting 450 million users when it was bought by Facebook for 19 Billion Dollars in February of 2014.

For functional programming enthusiasts, this is not such a big surprise. Functional Programming languages like Erlang or Haskell are incredibly stable, reliable and scalable requiring very small development teams. In the information age, these are essential requirements for most modern software driven applications and businesses around the globe are coming to the realization that functional programming has the answers that they are looking for.

Small businesses and startups are looking for cost effective ways of quickly putting their products onto the market- they need it error free and scalable as well. Too many good ideas have perished under the weight of their own success and rapid growth. Scaling up safely without disastrous bouts of downtime often means the difference between success and failure in the hyper-competitive startup marketplace.

Larger businesses are finding that their internal IT resources are just not designed to handle the unexpected, and the challenges of growing their IT team in a timely fashion is sometimes just not manageable. It takes time to find, to hire and train new people. Companies need their IT requirements met now- not in 3 months.

Successful companies have IT departments that meet their current needs, which means that they have the resources they require to maintain their existing catalog of offerings, but most companies find that they do not have the extra bandwidth necessary to take on new projects- even potentially lucrative ones- without endangering their existing products and services.

Since hiring and building additional IT resources is a slow process, finding an outsourced solution becomes a priority, but this means finding solutions that can not only carry the project from start to finish but also solutions that will be able to fit into their existing technology structure. This is not an easy task.

Functional Programming languages can be used to accomplish difficult tasks without requiring a major overhaul of a company’s IT department in a cost effective way that doesn’t add staff or new technology requirements to an already taxed and possibly overextended IT department. Projects can move forward to completion and can be brought to market quickly and safely, ready for scaling up as needed thanks to the power of functional programming.

FP Complete uses functional programming languages like Haskell- it is the largest provider of commercial Haskell tools and services in the world- to quickly and efficiently help businesses of all sizes to bring their projects to a timely and profitable conclusion.

Learn more about FP Complete and Haskell