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Re: Are we a dying breed?

by ewilhelm (Novice)
on Nov 14, 2005 at 18:36 UTC ( #508372=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Are we a dying breed?

Is it java that is scaring away quality perl people, or is Perl just not that viable a solution for company needs?

It seems that here at least, Perl is a very expensive solution, because Java programmers are a dime a dozen.

Hmm. I'm curious to know what your job requirements look like. I would guess that you're saying you want someone with 5 years of Perl experience. The problem with this sort of approach to hiring someone to work on a perl application is that one year of Perl experience can mean vastly different things to different people. I know people who say they have used Perl for 6 years, and yet they are unaware of many of the features and caveats of Perl which I learned in my first year.

In my recent experience applying for jobs, very few of the posters who say they want someone with lots of Perl experience really mean that you need to know Perl that well. Does a sysadmin who has used Perl for 10 years really know it as well as a hacker who has used it for one?

Good problem-solvers have always been in short supply. The trouble is that you can't identify them if you don't give them a problem to solve. If you're not looking for hackers who can identify and solve a completely different problem than the one you thought you had, you might as well just hire a slew of *++ programmers and hand them a spec.

BTW, I'm self-taught in Perl and my BS is not in CS. My only formal CS education is one semester of Fortran. This doesn't stop me from understanding OO methodology, only from getting a job at a place where they think this requires a CS degree.

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Re^2: Are we a dying breed?
by Scott7477 (Chaplain) on Feb 03, 2006 at 04:55 UTC
    Thoughts on this entire thread:


    I'd be interested to know how many IT managers are actually aware of sites such as Perlmonks:


    Grandfather's comment that "it's generally the problem solving ability that you need to target rather than detail knowledge of a particular subject" is dead on. Someone who understands basic programming ideas and can show you how they've solved coding problems could be productive in Perl quickly.


    I disagree with DrHyde's assertion that Perl is "not a good teaching language." I am relatively new to Perl and have been studying the "Camel" book. I find it to be superior to many textbooks both in terms of its writing style and its discussion of language design issues. I don't necessarily agree with all of Wall's design choices but he does a fine job of explaining his choices.


    Finally, a suggestion for identifying good problem solvers who have demonstrated ability in the language one is seeking would be to troll sites such as Perlmonks and look at the trail that regular posters have left there.

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[haukex]: I figured that POD tests make sense, but only as author tests
[choroba]: I mean, the slides are, but not the makefile with scripts to create them
[Corion]: haukex: I've only now arrived at that revelation ;)
[Corion]: choroba: I use spod5, which also has that support, and also implements its own kinda-make stuff
[haukex]: But that module I just linked to assumes that most verbatim blocks are runnable code, I have other modules where that's not the case, so there I just copy-and-paste the synopsis into the author tests...
[haukex]: not the most efficient, but then again, I don't have that many modules on CPAN :-)
[Corion]: haukex: Yes, but if it's only supposed to run on my machine, I can be far more liberal with how I extract the code etc.
[Corion]: haukex: Yes - I see the benefit of using Dist::Zilla for people with 150+ modules on CPAN, but I don't see it for myself, and I'm always put off from contributing to such modules because they require a lot of toolchain setup that I don't want to ...
[Corion]: ... spend time on if I only want to provide a short patch
[haukex]: Corion: Yes exactly, in the author tests I don't worry about portability as much, I also don't list the author tests' dependencies in Makefile.PL

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