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Perl Jobs

by buzzcutbuddha (Chaplain)
on May 04, 2000 at 16:43 UTC ( #10216=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Hello O Wise Ones,
I have been seeking a job that will let me use Perl for
two months now, and everywhere I go, they want someone who is already
a guru. Does anyone have any hints on how I can find an entry-level
Perl job. I have skill in HTML, Javascript, ASP, C/C++, etc....I just
don't have the experience in Perl. Any of your suggestions are appreciated.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
RE: Perl Jobs
by BBQ (Deacon) on May 04, 2000 at 19:31 UTC
    If you're going to be maintaining other people's code, I'd say you definitly need a little experience AT LEAST to know how the other person thinks. On the other hand, if you can get a job in a place were you'll be writing code from scratch, don't even tell them you don't have experience. I'll be perfectly honest:
    If you're good enough to fake it you're probably good enough to starting writing code of you're own!

    I'm saying this from the employer's point of view because this has happened to me in the past. I was hiring programmers, and I wanted someone that already had perl XPs (sort-a-speak :o)), and the guy I hired managed to pull it off by saying he had non-professional perl knowledge and he needed was some time to adjust to the job requirements.

    I have to admit it wasn't exaclty what I was expecting, but it was close enough! Just make sure that whereever you are, you have a way to log on to

    Good luck!

    # Trust no1!
RE: Perl Jobs
by perlmonkey (Hermit) on May 04, 2000 at 21:06 UTC
    There are two basic kinds of experience, what you learn while at a job, and what you learn on your own. We are also hiring here, and frankly we dont care where your experience is from, as long as you can talk the talk. When I got my job I only had about a 3 week perl class from my college, but they looked at my side projects and my little perl programming experiments and that is what got me hired. I had no professional experience.

    If you have no side projects that you can show an employeer ... start now. It would be great if you had cgi programs on a website and definately make the code available to the interviewers.

    Also I would not pay a huge amount of attention to what they want. Everybody want to hire a god programmer, but the fact is they will just as likely hire anybody with a little bit of programming experience.

    We have interviewed tons of people, but we cant get a single one. They all put perl on their resume, but if we ask them a question like "what is the difference between $var, @var, and %var" they cant answer that. totally lame.

    So start playing with the camal/lama books and learn as much as you can. Code what ever your heart desires, and soon enough the jobs will come. If you have already done that then you are way more marketable than you think.

    Good luck, and happy hunting!
      >"what is the difference between $var, @var, and %var"

      Boy, that IS lame... But I totally agree. Thank god perl has a very steep learning curve, which on your comment comes to proove that the guys you interviewed actually knew close to nothing.

      On buzzcutbuddha's case (and where the hell did you come up with THAT nickname?) he has a big advantage which is previous programming knowledge. If you can code, you can most definitely learn perl very fast. And in the end, aren't we all still learning? (well maybe not btrott, vroom and chromatic :o))
        Sorry for the blank post. Kindly remove?
RE: Perl Jobs (kudra: It's okay to be learning Perl)
by kudra (Vicar) on May 07, 2000 at 11:43 UTC
    I think in some cases its acceptable to say that you don't know perl but you're interested in learning it. When I interviewed for my current job, I'd only written one perl program (and not a very complicated one), and didn't mention perl on my resume. I was asked about perl and was able to say that I was very interested in learning it and had started doing so. I went on to talk about some of the features of the language that I liked, comparing it to other languages (which probably won't work if the person interviewing you doesn't code). I like to think that I showed some understanding of perl, even if I hadn't really used it. I got the job, at any rate, about one week after writing my first perl program. Of course you can spend a few months learning more before looking for a job, but it's also quite fun to get paid while you're learning. You're never short of projects, and almost every project requires that you learn something new, and oftentimes there's someone more experienced around who can take a look at your code before implementation and offer suggestions for improvement.

    You should definately use the fact that you know other languages to your advantage. I imagine you remember how much faster it was to get a working knowledge of the second language than the first. Mention that you've done similar tasks with other languages (if you have), and remind people that knowing how to code can be a lot harder than gaining a working knowledge of any language. Supposing in the future they want some other language--the person who is capable of learning other languages is a useful person (I know, you wouldn't want to stick with a company that would forsake Perl, but you can also apply this concept to updates of Perl).

RE: Perl Jobs
by plaid (Chaplain) on May 04, 2000 at 23:51 UTC
    In my experience, there are just tons of perl jobs opening up out there recently, mostly all CGI related. I get calls weekly from my resume hanging around on, which I've been too lazy to take down. All the recruiters are asking for someone who has 'a year of experience' or 'two years of experience', but, there is such a shortage out there, that it seems almost too easy to get hired. I'm a contractor, and I've seen some purely awful perl code out there, by people who obviously have no knowledge of how to program, but just know how to cut and paste from the abundance of perl scripts out there. What I've come to find is that employers who have hired people who can just hack perl and can't really program, have eventually ended up in trouble when their employees can't fix things fast, and they have to shell out money to contractors. Perl, with its TMTOWTDI philosophy, lends itself out to poor code when in the wrong hands, and many employers seem to be moving more in the direction of 'I'd rather hire someone who doesn't know perl, but knows how to program and can learn fast.' If you were to just get the basics of perl down, such as variables, subroutines, learning your way around man pages, basic regular expressions, etc., It shouldn't be all that hard to come across someone who is happy that you know what you're doing, and is willing to cut you slack on not knowing too much perl. Hope this helps, and good luck!
RE: Perl Jobs
by chromatic (Archbishop) on May 05, 2000 at 05:27 UTC
    One of the best ways to build confidence and experience is to look at some of the questions and solutions that are asked here and in comp.lang.perl.misc, and try to come up with your own.

    Part of the reason I (and I suspect btrott and turnstep are similar in this) spend so much time coming up with alternate solutions is because there are so many different ways to do things. It keeps me sharp and helps me find obscure language features and understand more about things I haven't learned yet.

    Do that for a couple of months, hack on a few projects of your own (or patch a few free projects), and then you'll know what to put on your resume. Tangential to the original question, but it might help.

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