in reply to Trained Perl professional or self-taught hack?
I'm sure I'm self-taught. But no offense to the numerous people out there who one way or the other have helped out. Like my numerous bosses, colleagues, people here at perlmonks, and others.
I guess it really boils down to the art of learning. If you're inquisitive enough and motivated you can damn well learn most of the stuff out there (I don't mean hardcore stuff like rocket science though).
Whats keeping anyone from learning a new language? I learnt Perl by myself by reading the Camel book. Although I had to do it cause my first job involved writing a Perl CGI.
I do have an engineering degree, but I honestly feel it has contributed litte or nothing to my software programming knowledge. Whatever I've learnt is purely "on the job". But I must attribute the patience and need for detail which an engineering degree will teach you.