2020 Fellowship Nominations

In 2019, the Erlang Ecosystem Foundation voted in Erlang co-inventors Joe Armstrong, Robert Virding and Mike Williams and Computer Science Lab co-founder Bjarne Däcker as its first fellows. The time has come to announce the next group of fellows. The Fellowship workgroup has over the year solicited nominations from the community, foundation members and foundation directors. To make the task a little less daunting, we decided early on to exclude any active foundation board member. We are proud to announce the nominations for the next group of fellows which we believe reflects the diversity and values the foundation stands for.

Björn Gustavsson: Björn is the developer behind “BEAM”, the Erlang virtual machine that we still run today even though it has evolved a lot. When Björn joined the OTP team in 1996, the default VM was called JAM (Joe’s Abstract Machine) and there were also a number of experimental machines of which one was called BEAM (Bogdan’s Erlang Abstract Machine) after Bogumil “Bogdan” Hausman. Björn joined the OTP team in 1996 and did a fantastic job with shaping the BEAM (Björn’s Erlang Abstract Machine) to product status with much better performance and characteristics than the JAM. Björn has been an important member of the OTP team ever since and is still heavily involved mostly in the implementation of the Erlang VM and the compiler. His nomination is in recognition of decades of service, passion and dedication, helping evolve the ecosystem to where it is today.

Eric Meadows-Jönsson: Eric has created the Hex.pm package manager, which has been extremely valuable to the Erlang Ecosystem and boosted Elixir adoption. He is also the first person to join the Elixir Core team (after José*. In this role, Eric was also the creator of many important libraries in the Elixir community, such as Decimal, Postgrex, and Ecto. His nomination highlights work that bridges and unifies all languages in the Erlang Ecosystem.

Norberto Ortigoza: Norberto has been active with the development of the Erlang and Elixir community in Mexico and Latin America through speaking engagements, running meetups and mentoring. He teaches Elixir and the BEAM at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He also organizes Erlang/Elixir events in Mexico, such as Erlang Factory and ElixirConf. He is currently involved in the Elixir Latin American virtual meetup. His nomination is a way to highlight important work individuals are doing in local communities.

Jane Walerud: Jane is the person who is credited with convincing Ericsson management to release Erlang as open source. She was the co-founder and CEO of the first Erlang startup, Bluetail, which laid the foundation to many more startups in the Erlang ecosystem, including Tail-f (acquired by Cisco), Synapse and Klarna. She is still active in the community by giving keynotes at conferences, sharing her experiences and encouraging others to become entrepreneurs. Her nomination highlights the importance of diversity in the community: With a non-technical degree from Stanford University and experience in selling and running companies, she complements technical teams with commercial skills.

Fellowship is regulated in the bylaws. Section 4.8 on Fellows states that:

To be eligible for membership as a Fellow, a member must be nominated by a Fellow of the corporation or a specially chartered Working Group, which nomination should be based upon certain criteria to be established by the Board of Directors and which criteria shall be designed to emphasize extraordinary contributions. Following such nomination, approval of two-thirds (2/3) of the members entitled to vote shall be required in order for a member to become a Fellow. Upon election, a Fellow shall remain a Fellow for the remainder of such person’s natural life, subject to any limiting provisions of this document. Fellowship does not continue during any extension of life by non-natural means, such as zombification or vampirism. Fellows may exercise voting rights at any time, and if they vote, shall be counted for purposes of a quorum.

Our next step is for two-thirds of the voting members to formally approve the nominations. An email will go out to everyone eligible to vote soon. Until then, remember everyone can put forward candidates for consideration by the Fellowship workgroup. Just email your candidate and motivation to fellows@erlef.org