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Could Perlmonks be used as a reference?

by thatguy (Parson)
on Jul 06, 2001 at 10:33 UTC ( #94395=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

It's pretty safe to assume that these folks *really* know what they are doing. They are at higher status and are proven to be capable of providing good perl code/advice because of the code/advice they have given. They have a respectability from new and existing users because of the work involved in attaining such a high ranking. It's not automatic, it's earned

Is it possible that a non-Perlmonks user could trust this information and use it as a reference for perl knowledge and experience? If so, how should they relate each level to a level of mastery of perl?

For example, if I were a high level, could I use PM as a reference of sorts with an employer to verify my experience with perl?

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Re: Could Perlmonks be used as a reference?
by Abigail (Deacon) on Jul 06, 2001 at 12:16 UTC
    Is it possible that a non-Perlmonks user could trust this information and use it as a reference for perl knowledge and experience?

    No. Experience is not based on peer review. Remember that the majorty of the votes are cast by "low level" users, most of them not having the knowledge of experienced Perl users. I often see postings that only appear to answer the question (but are either wrong, incomplete or answer a different question), get 30 or more reputation points, while a short followup saying "duh, you're wrong, because of <foo>" gets -5 points because it wasn't covered in honey.(Update: this node isn't quite covered in honey, and within a minute, it had accumulated negative points. qed?) Not to mention that the question itself gets a lot of points. I also see off topic questions, FAQs and questions whose answer is found trivially in perlfunc.pod often get voted for; specially if they appear on the front page. I wouldn't be surprised if you could make saint within a few months by just asking questions. OTOH, if you have the most brilliant answers, including many complete programs or modules, but you take a day or two to answer, experience comes in much more slowly. There is some positive correlation between experience and quality of posts. But experience is also influenced by quantity of posts, activity on the site, popularity and time between asking and answering. Just take a look at the best nodes page, featuring nodes with obscure programs, or how to impress women. Nothing wrong with the nodes, but not something I find useful as a reference of Perl mastery.

    Assuming people know what they are doing just because they piled up a bunch of experience is pretty naive.

    For example, if I were a high level, could I use PM as a reference of sorts with an employer to verify my experience with perl?

    You could of course always use PM as a reference, and have the employer (or one of the technical people) read up on you. However, in just a few questions one can get a good impression how well someone knows Perl. Here's a really nice question for a job interview: "How do you think Perl can be improved?", and just let the interviewee talk for a few minutes.

    -- Abigail

Re: Could Perlmonks be used as a reference?
by azatoth (Curate) on Jul 06, 2001 at 10:39 UTC

    I've seen people's CVs (resumes) with Brainbench Certifications / Scores on it, so I don't really see why you shouldn't use PerlMonks. Although IMO a concrete test score would look better than "Level 8 Bishop on PerlMonks." I guess it's down to what you as a person feel is right, if you are proud of your contribution to the site and you feel it accurately reflects your status in the Perl Community, then by all means show it to them.

    Perhaps providing links to useful code, or good answers to tough questions you have written would be a good idea to include. If you're gonna link to PM as a reference, they'll want to see some action, not just the picture on your homenode. So make sure you've got a few "Top Nodes" up your sleeve. I think that would work.

    Update: FYI, I am *clearly* stating that your XP level does not equate to skill. Which is why I suggested a code link or an answer link...

    Azatoth a.k.a Captain Whiplash

    Make Your Die Messages Full of Wisdom!
    Get YOUR PerlMonks Stagename here!
    Want to speak like a Londoner?
(ar0n) Re: Could Perlmonks be used as a reference?
by ar0n (Priest) on Jul 06, 2001 at 11:46 UTC
    As has been stated over and over again, your Perl Monks level is more an indication of community participation than it is an indication of your mastery of Perl. Just look at AgentM, "living proof that a high-order monk need not know anything about Perl" :)

    ar0n ]

      I'd like to support ar0n's point of view.
      Despite being a Saint, I know a bunch of monks with a better, Perl knowledge than I have.
      Some even have better programming skills than I.

      As you can earn XP (and hence status) by asking question, or posting node, or voting
      or even just connecting; the Status is by no way an indication of your Perl knowledge...

      But if I may add my comment : it's true for a lot of diplomas/certifications...
      Being Brainbench certified only mean that somebody (some people ?)
      answered correctly to a test (possibly randomly).
      Having a diploma only means that you manage to pass exams.(Whatever the mean ;-)
      I'm not saying that diplomas/certification are useless, I'm just saying that they are only indication,
      and that you shouldn't base ALL your opinion on it...
      Skill isn't TIED to diplomas/certification Even in the *other* way :
      One of the best coder I know don't have much diplomas/certification...

      Furthermore, I'd like to underline that often technical skills aren't enough to be a good/useful coder.
      I mean a recruiter, usually seek someone to work in a team, able to stand pressure, respects deadlines,
      adapt to job constraint and code fast...
      With those needs even a 'Technical God' with no social/communication qualities,
      unable to work properly when stressed proposing THEORICALY perfect solutions coded wouldn't last long...

      If I should resume my thought :
      Be proud of your monk status, but not too proud as it doesn't PROOVE* anything...

      * Oh my god ! Now I'm using this word too ;-)

      "Only Bad Coders Code Badly In Perl" (OBC2BIP)

      True, experience on Perl Monks does not show how good someone is with Perl. Rather, it reflects on how they participate within this community.

      That does not make Perl Monks experience invalid as something to state on a CV. When I've looked through programmers' CVs, I've always looked for some indication of being able to work well with others, as well as raw technical skill.

      Indeed, the nodes of mine that are ranked highest tend not to be about Perl, as much as issues relating to this site, or other non-programming issues that are common amongst programmers. I'd also say that programming is neither what I'm best at, or what I have the most natural inclination towards.

      I believe that anything that shows a certain amount of effort, intelligence or creativity has a place on a CV. A CV as a whole should describe the different aspects of your personality, so you can convey your programming skills, your ability to communicate and work with others, and evidence that you can deliver what's required.

Re: Could Perlmonks be used as a reference?
by rrwo (Friar) on Jul 06, 2001 at 11:15 UTC

    Better question: what's your CPAN ID?

Don't bother with Perlmonks as a reference
by petdance (Parson) on Jul 07, 2001 at 19:55 UTC
    There are two times when people look at your resume. One is when someone (either your boss-to-be or (ack) someone from personnel) is trying to figure out if he's going to call you in for an interview, and one is when you're sitting there in front of your boss-to-be for your interview.

    In the former case, I think that "I'm a bishop (Level 8) on" would sound pretty dorky, or would be meaningless to the reader, or both. In the latter case, you can bring up perlmonks in conversation. In either case, having that line on your resume doesn't help.

    Now, here's how to throw in your perlmonks experience. When I interview people, I ask "How do you stay current?" which is pretty open ended. That would be your cue to throw in that you read and post to Chances are your interviewer will ask something similar, and if he doesn't, then throw it in yourself somehow.

    You also asked about wanting to "verify my experience with perl". The time to do that is during the interview, not on the resume. Nobody expects you to prove what you know on paper; it'll come out in the interview.

    Two examples: Last interview I went on, at a web-based services company, the boss-to-be asked me to do some trivial programming task, like writing a function to read in a file of people and scores and print out a summary. He gave me a piece of paper to write on. I asked if I could use the computer next to him instead. So I fire up Notepad, and write a full-blown program using that reads in the file and creates a pretty HTML page of the results.

    Interview before that, I talked with the boss-to-be about the changes coming up in the (then) new Perl 5.6, and that made it clear to him that I knew what was what.

    Finally, if you're looking for a job, I can't over-recommend Ask The Headhunter by Nick Corcodilos. He's also got a website called, not surprisingly, Nick's point is: You aren't there to have the employer find out if you're a good fit; you need to SHOW the employer that you are. It'll be the best $12 you can spend.

    Throw down the gun and tiara and come out of the float!

Re: Could Perlmonks be used as a reference?
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Jul 08, 2001 at 07:49 UTC
    Perhaps a better question would be, "What can a high level on Perlmonks demonstrate?"

    In my case, it's on my CV for several reasons. First, to show that I've participated in a fairly successful technical forum for a year and a half. Second, to show that I'm a fairly-well respected contributor. Third, as an example of some of my programming, and my progress over the past months.

    That's not a substitute for providing example code or a guarantee for how I might work with a team, but it looks pretty good in a biography. ("Hey, this guy's reviewed several programming books and is a high-level poster at a programming site. Maybe he has something worth saying.")

      I don't mention Perlmonks on my resume, because if you mention Perlmonks, should you mention mailinglists and Usenet groups you participate in as well? Mongers memberships? Your CPAN id? My resume is 3 pages, but all I say about Perl is:
      Besides having 17 years of experience with Unix, I am very experienced with Perl, and a contributing member of its community. I was a major tech reviewer of [list of books], and a tech reviewer of [list of books].
      contributing member of its community covers it all I think. It gives a possible opening in an interview, but it avoids questions like "what are Perlmonks?". Or strange associations. Don't assume a possible employer knows anything about the Perl community, let alone Perlmonks.

      -- Abigail

Re: Could Perlmonks be used as a reference?
by TheoPetersen (Priest) on Jul 07, 2001 at 00:25 UTC
    Testimonial: during my recent job search, I invited prospective employers to look me up on PerlMonks and read my posts and replies. That apparently proved useful to some, as it showed how I interact on-line.

    I never quoted experience (in agreement with others' remarks) but it seems likely that if someone were using PM as a reference, a high experience standing wouldn't hurt.

Re: Could Perlmonks be used as a reference?
by Beatnik (Parson) on Jul 07, 2001 at 17:59 UTC
    I have a link to my homenode on my Curriculum Vitae, not to point out what XP I have, but to have a quick list of my nodes. I dont have a listing of my Brainbench Certificates on it tho... (not even the one stating I'm now a certified HTML Programmer). I'm actually listed there which again proofs skills and XP aren't the same thing. I know a whole bunch of monks more knowledgeable than me but are listed below me. (Jouke and OeufMayo, to name two).

    ... Quidquid perl dictum sit, altum viditur.
(thabenksta) Re: Could Perlmonks be used as a reference?
by thabenksta (Pilgrim) on Jul 09, 2001 at 20:14 UTC

    You must also remember who you are dealing with. While everyone here knows that it doesn't take any skill to reach higher levels, HR directors will certainly not. (Unless the happen to be a saint themselves). While I aggree that putting Perl Monk friar on your resume might not be the best idea, I do aggree that linking to your home node, and having a list of your best nodes is a good idea.

    my $name = 'Ben Kittrell'; $name=~s/^(.+)\s(.).+$/\L$1$2/g; my $nick = 'tha' . $name . 'sta';

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