My original reason for learning Perl was, I think, typical. I'd landed a job doing CGI, and I imitated people who had done that sort of thing before by deciding on Perl for the task. Knowing C/C++ already, the syntax was not too difficult to learn, and my errors led to deeper study. I became fascinated with TIMTOWTDI and dwimmerie, and learned to appreciate the linguistic elegance of well-written Perl. CPAN gave me the leverage to exercise high laziness. Perl has become my primary language for most purposes.
The richness and depth of fluent perl is a great pleasure, and something I very much want to attain. Perlmonks has helped me a lot towards that goal.
Correctness is the paramount goal when I write code. I try to check for errors from system calls and respond appropriately. I try to keep my eyes open for corner cases and other error-prone constructs. I find that writing test code is the most useful strategy for getting a job done correctly.
I do think about code efficiency, but I try to avoid early micro-optimization. I try to write code that gets the job done minimally, doing no more work than necessary. I find that a few minutes thought, followed by writing minimally on the first cut, is sufficient and not too expensive in my time. Further attention to speed and memory requirements is postponed until testing shows where improvement is needed.
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