Pattern matching in Elixir.

June 25, 20231 min read


I started elixir a few weeks ago after reading about it on this blog. I mostly picked it up because I applied for an position at the Ramp which...well ended up with me being ghosted.

Nonetheless, it exposed me to a new language and a new way of thinking about programming.

I am going to be talking about the following:

  • What is Pattern matching
  • Pattern matching with lists

What is Pattern matching

My understanding of pattern matching begins with the equal sign: =. In elixir, the equal sign is not only an assignment operator but also a match operator. It is used to match the left side of the expression to the right side of the expression.

The example below would return an error:

iex> 5 = 2 + 2

** (MatchError) no match of right hand side value: 4