|P is for Practical|
A look back on a year of Perlby patgas (Friar)
|on Nov 08, 2001 at 21:10 UTC||Need Help??|
It's November, 2001. While that may not strike anyone as immediately important, it means I've been fooling with Perl for about a year now. A few minutes ago I helped a coworker with a script I wrote, and I started to think back on all the cool things I've been able to do with Perl, and how I got started with it.
I remember sitting in a Barnes & Noble in Huntsville, Alabama, killing time while a housemate searched for a book. I was already a nerd and a programmer, but I was too young to know the UNIX way of life, or to do any real programming professionally. Because of that, most of my code was stuff I'd tinker around with in C or ASP. I didn't have a lot of motivation or direction. I had no feeling that I was part of a greater cause, but let's go back to the bookstore for a moment.
In my quest to entertain myself, I picked up the October 2000 issue of Wired, when an article about a cruise for Perl programmers caught my eye. I read the entire thing and was hooked. There was something to be a part of! Nobody mentioned boring string manipulation or function declaration, they were just doing cool stuff, and the article made it sound as if it were trivial.
So that night I discovered CPAN. It took me a few weeks to get around to figuring out how to get it set up, but eventually I was up and running. I wrote Hello, World, and... well, that was it. Somehow I was missing out on that cool stuff I read about in Wired. Needless to say, soon after that I started reading Perl Monks, and bought the Camel. It's been a pretty steady progression forward ever since.
I haven't contributed to CPAN yet; I've barely made a mark here at the Monastery. I can wield Perl well enough to make my life and job easier. I'm more confident in my programming, which I think is what led to my recent promotion to web developer. I can do cool stuff with the web as easily as it is to manipulate files. Problems I once thought impossible I can now boil down to simple 'grab, parse, output' solutions.
I'm still not entirely sure why I posted this, but I guess this is it: Thanks. Thanks to Perl, thanks to Larry, thanks to everyone here who's helped me. And in case you're interested in the Wired article I mentioned, I managed to find it online this morning:The article that changed my life
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