Perhaps a numbered list of suggestions?
- Get involved in the community; they're happy to help you.
- Don't re-invent the wheel. Check CPAN first.
- Learn how to install modules on your platform. This will help you with #2.
- Read through Damian Conway's Perl Best Practices, and keep those tenets in mind while you write code. Don't follow them blindly -- but keep them in mind.
- If possible, develop code using Test Driven Development. It's an awesomely powerful way to develop and maintain code.
- Work on your coding skills continuously. Answer questions on IRC (if you dare), and on Perlmonks.
- Keep a copy of the Camel to hand. Open a page at random. You never know.
- Visit your local Perlmongers group; discuss Perl, ask questions. Attend your local YAPC event.
- Comment your code -- the most embarrassing thing that can ever happen to you as a developer is to look at some code you wrote six months ago and have absolutely no idea how it works.
- Don't immediately start pounding out code. Take your cup of coffee/tea and go for a walk. Think about the design. Think about an alternative. Think crazy. Think brilliant. Draw boxes on pieces of paper. Put off coding till the next day. Then start pounding away on the keyboard.
I can't imagine writing Perl code as well as I am right now, without the assistance of the community. And Perlmonks is a big part of that community. That's why I'm so keen to help out here.
Thanks to all, and to all a happy holiday season. :)
Alex / talexb / Toronto
"Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds
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