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I don't recall exactly when I wrote my first Perl program because it's been at least four or five years ago but I do remember the reasons that it came to be my programming language of choice.

I've mostly work in a sysadmin capacity and would frequently push the limits of the various languages available. When we (at work) first got our first unix boxen we faced a radical shift in languages from our old IBM mainframe (rexx, PL/1, SAS and Fortran 66). With unix, we now had to shift from rexx to csh, PL/1 and Fortran 66 to Fortran 77 but we still had SAS. Nobody in our department had any formal training in C or C++.

As you can imagine, writing interactive database applications in Fortran can be frustrating. Once the unix boxen were in place, we had to setup some xyplexes and then we needed to do Radius time accounting. My boss did a little searching and determined that there were programs already written in Perl that would do what we needed (with modifications of course). A superb (not to mention free) programming language, a wealth of books, docs and CPAN too?

Gradually, almost every program or script of importance on our systems were rewritten in Perl. Our library of Perl books has increased and I've never had a request for new books denied (as I usually can demonstrate a real need for them).

I wish I'd known about the Monastery when it first started since my Perl skills would be triple what they are now.


In reply to Re: What got you interested in Perl? by jlongino
in thread What got you interested in Perl? by coolmichael

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