Since I discovered Perl I've given up poverty. Perl was what got me out of the ups and downs of professional radio and into a steady job coding. The first year as an engineer I made four times what I made in my best year as a DJ, and the second year I made ten times that thanks to stock options.
Sometimes late at night or on a long drive I play the "What if" game. In retrospect, if I'd been more successful at radio I wouldn't have been as inclined to quit and pursue a career in high tech. Even then it was a tough decision, and not one that was entirely voluntary. Looking back at the changes to the broadcast industry since I left, I'm glad I got out when I did. Almost everyone I know from back in the day has had extended periods of unemployment during the last decade and still lives paycheck to paycheck.
All that said, it was perl that got me coding at my first company, it was perl that got the early versions of the product up and running fast, and it was perl that let us react fast when we needed a tool or a patch right now. It was perl that got me into startup number two where I was able to ride out the tech bust of the early 2000s, and it was perl that gave me the generalized coding skill to work with other languages.
"What do I want? I'm an American. I want more."
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