"'economic factors' have meant taking it more seriously."
"First order of business, survival". Seriously though, in the turbulent times in which we live I know people who have had to change industry entirely, rather than substitute a one tool for another within the same (or similar) discipline. As you rightly state a poor worker can do a bad job regardless of the tool in use. Simply because you use one tool at a day job doesn't mean you have to give up the other as a hobby.
Previously I've introduced perl in jobs where it wasn't used at all. Sensible employers/clients wont ignore a tool when you can prove it's advantages.
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