Finite State Machines - Why the fear?

Mahesh Paolini-Subramanya (Ubiquiti Networks, Inc.)
Software Architecture
Location: D139/140 Level: Expert
Average rating: ***..
(3.12, 8 ratings)

Finite State Machines are overlooked at best, ignored at worst, and virtually always dismissed. This is tragic since FSMs are not just about Door Locks (the most commonly used example). On the contrary, these FSMs are invaluable in clearly defining communication protocols – ranging from low-level web-services through complex telephony application to reliable interactions between loosely-coupled systems. Properly using them can significantly enhance the stability and reliability of your systems.

Join me as I take you through a crash-course in FSMs, using erlang’s gen_fsm behavior as the background, and hopefully leaving you with a better appreciation of both FSM and erlang in the process.

Mahesh Paolini-Subramanya

Ubiquiti Networks, Inc.

I’ve been involved in ‘Internet Stuff’ since Day Zero (remember Gopher?), and am currently building out the Erlang based infrastructure for all of Ubiquiti’s cloud services. You can find out more here

I have the – dubious – honor of being involved in creating the first web/e-commerce system, the first java based financial service, as well as the first erlang based cloud PBX, three projects I may never live down.

I have a Bachelor’s degree is from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a Masters from the University of Notre Dame.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of Ricardo Signes
Ricardo Signes
07/31/2013 12:12pm PDT

Mahesh was a great presenter. I think the material contained some really good ideas, but they weren’t as clearly communicated as they could be. I think heavier use of diagrams or flow charts would help, but that’s the kind of advice you’d expect from me. I really love flow charts.

Whatever the right answer, I think this is a talk that definitely deserves to be overhauled and given again. And it should be given that next time by Mahesh. He was engaging and knew what he was talking about.


Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at (707) 827-7065 or

Contact Us

View a complete list of OSCON contacts