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How many Perl programmers are there?

by cosmicperl (Chaplain)
on Aug 31, 2008 at 00:55 UTC ( #707975=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
cosmicperl has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hi All,
  I know there is the Perl Mongers Census ( thanks Dave ), but is there any figure, even an estimate as to how many Perl programmers there are?
Guesses welcome :)


Lyle

Comment on How many Perl programmers are there?
Re: How many Perl programmers are there?
by ikegami (Pope) on Aug 31, 2008 at 01:38 UTC
    There are 10x, for some base "x".
Re: How many Perl programmers are there?
by Lawliet (Curate) on Aug 31, 2008 at 01:40 UTC

    Everyone is a Perl programmer; they just do not realize it yet.

    I'm so adjective, I verb nouns!

    chomp; # nom nom nom

      Like those who have not yet been freed from The Matrix
Re: How many Perl programmers are there?
by cosmicperl (Chaplain) on Aug 31, 2008 at 01:47 UTC
    Not quite what I had in mind... But amusing all the same :)
Re: How many Perl programmers are there?
by tilly (Archbishop) on Aug 31, 2008 at 04:29 UTC
    What is a "Perl programmer"? If you're a sysadmin who uses Perl, are you a Perl programmer? If you're a DBA who sometimes cleans data with Perl, are you a Perl programmer? If you are a biologist who uses and occasionally tinkers with tools written in Perl, are you a Perl programmer?

    It is kind of vague.

    Anyways if you want an estimate, Comparative Language Job Trend Graphs is informative. Unfortunately absolute numbers aren't to be found there, and there is reason to believe that it might be skewed towards technical jobs. But let's say that there are 100 million jobs out there that are distributed like those graphs say. Then about a million people have jobs which have Perl somewhere in the job description. 300,000 have jobs that say "software engineer" and mention Perl. over 100,000 have jobs whose description includes "Perl developer". And a similar number have jobs whose description includes "Perl programmer".

    Let's sanity check that. According to http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos110.htm there are about 435,000 computer programmers in the USA. With my hundred million people estimate, if I add up the "foo developer" ads, that roughly matches the number of programmers in the USA. Of course not all ads for a programmer will say "foo developer", but the USA is not the whole world either. So I'd guess that the numbers I've given are on the high side, but not by too much.

      With my hundred million people estimate
      I think you mean 100 thousand people.

      Thanks very much for the figures.


      Lyle
        No, I meant 100 million people who have jobs distributed like the jobs from that website.

        A tenth of a percent of them are "Perl programmers", hence the 100 thousand people estimate you see for that.

Re: How many Perl programmers are there?
by zentara (Archbishop) on Aug 31, 2008 at 13:06 UTC
        Well actually, it's not the code moving them. Perl programmers are blatantly underpaid, and need to work at odd jobs, like carrying rocks on their backs. You can tell us from the insects because we go "Ook" when squeezed. :-)

        I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth Remember How Lucky You Are
Re: How many Perl programmers are there?
by renodino (Curate) on Aug 31, 2008 at 15:38 UTC
    At this year's State of the Onion, Mssr. Wall stated that all programming languages are just dialects of Perl 6.

    Ergo, all programmers are Perl programmers.


    Perl Contrarian & SQL fanboy
      bingo, BTW, when will Perl 6 make official debut?
        AFAIK, its still on schedule for Christmas delivery.

        Perl Contrarian & SQL fanboy
Re: How many Perl programmers are there?
by moritz (Cardinal) on Aug 31, 2008 at 20:36 UTC
    Nobody has to register anywhere to program in perl, so absolute numbers are hard to find.

    I just looked into my cpan local cpan mirrors:

    cpan-mirror/authors/id$ find . -mindepth 3 -type d |wc -l 4129

    So we have a bit more than 4000 CPAN authors. How many perl programmers actually publish stuff on CPAN? perhaps 1%? So my rough guess is 5e5, or half a million.

    Other sources you could use, if you had access to them (you might actually some of the numbers somewhere on the internet): perl.org and cpan.org access statistics, perl book sales, perlmonks.org registered users, *comp.lang.perl.* posting statistics, rt.{perl,cpan}.org statistics (number of distinct email addresses), ...

    All those have in common that you still get no really good numbers, but you might get a feeling for the order of magnitude.

      Nice. This is a pretty insightful census method. FWIW, I recall seeing the number 2 million bandied about a few years ago but don't recall where (here?) or its qualification. If you count those who use Perl for some reason, some of the time, at work, I suspect even 2 million is conservative.

        2 million is still a small country. I think we should have our own flag. paco for president! :)
Re: How many Perl programmers are there?
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Aug 31, 2008 at 20:51 UTC
    There are enough that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of companies that use Perl on a regular basis, but not enough that all the jobs are filled. Therefore, there are just the right number for me to make a very good living in a language I love working in. Nuff said.

    My criteria for good software:
    1. Does it work?
    2. Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?
Re: How many Perl programmers are there?
by Erez (Curate) on Sep 01, 2008 at 07:04 UTC
Re: How many Perl programmers are there?
by w-ber (Hermit) on Sep 01, 2008 at 15:17 UTC

    Count me in as one.

    --
    print "Just Another Perl Adept\n";

Re: How many Perl programmers are there?
by cutlass2006 (Pilgrim) on Sep 02, 2008 at 08:05 UTC

    you could also roughly compare to other languages using google trends

Re: How many Perl programmers are there?
by johndageek (Hermit) on Sep 02, 2008 at 14:45 UTC
    Oww! that makes my head hurt. Let's simplify this.

    Prove to me you are NOT a perl programmer.

    Enjoy!
    Dageek

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