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Where are all the Perl programmers?

by johnnywang (Priest)
on Jan 30, 2006 at 21:26 UTC ( #526575=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

For those who are hiring Perl programmers, where do you find them? I've been trying to hire some senior Perl programmers (web and general scripting), posted on jobs.perl.com, and went through Craig's list and Monster, still couldn't seem to find any. Am I missing some watering holes? or as some people suggested, all the good ones are happily working, and they don't make Perl programmers anymore? (BTW, I'm in the San Francisco bay area.)

Comment on Where are all the Perl programmers?
Re: Where are all the Perl programmers?
by perrin (Chancellor) on Jan 30, 2006 at 21:53 UTC
    The best place is jobs.perl.org. Maybe you should look at some of the other ads and consider making some changes in yours.
Re: Where are all the Perl programmers?
by jdporter (Canon) on Jan 30, 2006 at 22:54 UTC

    FWIW, I'd recommend posting a good old-fashioned ad in the major local newspaper(s). I understand that not all metro markets have a culture of using the newspaper for this, but mine (Washington D.C.) certainly does. Perhaps SF does too. I just did a search of the San Jose Mercury News job section for 'Perl' in SF and got about 175 hits.

    We're building the house of the future together.
Re: Where are all the Perl programmers?
by Booger (Pilgrim) on Jan 31, 2006 at 00:40 UTC
    Have you tried any Perl Mongers groups?
Re: Where are all the Perl programmers?
by ptum (Priest) on Jan 31, 2006 at 04:13 UTC

    One possibility you might consider (if the nature of your work permits) is hiring Perl programmers who work part time and/or remotely. I know that I have often been willing to take on side projects but am not willing to relocate or to do much more than occasional travel. Without exaggerating or trying to be snooty, you would have to offer me at least twice my current salary to persuade me to live in the bay area. It is possible that others feel the way I do.


    No good deed goes unpunished. -- (attributed to) Oscar Wilde

      I'll second the suggestion of considering telecommuters, not just for side projects but for pretty much any kind of position (cafeteria chef being one obvious exception ;-). Physically commuting to work is just too 20th Century.


      There are ten types of people: those that understand binary and those that don't.
Re: Where are all the Perl programmers?
by sfink (Deacon) on Jan 31, 2006 at 04:43 UTC
    No, it's not just you. In the various times when my company has been looking, we've had an extremely hard time finding senior Perl people. I know a manager at Yahoo who says the same thing. (We're all in the SF bay area.)

    We posted at the same places that you listed, plus a couple of local Perl Mongers groups. I get the feeling that all of these places are ok for finding contractors or telecommuters, but that just won't work for the positions we've wanted to hire for.

    We have done well finding fresh graduates with strong Perl ability. Not much help if what you need is what you need. I'm often wondering what the impact of switching languages would be -- there's a lot of very solid work happening in Python, and although we have a ton of existing code in Perl and I personally much prefer Perl to Python, it's not a preference I'd kill a company over. But that may just be a "grass is greener" thing anyway; I might be complaining about the same thing with Python/Ruby/.... It's a shame that scripting languages tend to be so partisan, though -- I have every belief that a strong Python programmer could easily become a strong Perl programmer and vice versa, but people who like one tend to irrationally dislike the other. (Including me, but I'm trying, dammit!)

    Of the senior Perl programmers we have now, every one of them came through Craigslist. That said, we're a tiny team, and Craigslist has not worked for a while.

    One last thing -- please, keep posting on jobs.perl.org. Although it doesn't seem to be The Place for Perl people right now, I want it to be!

      All of the best people we found were through jobs.perl.org. People who look there tend to be more clueful. This is less true if what you want is a C guy who knows some Perl, or something similar where paying attention to CPAN and the like is less important.

      I seriously doubt you'd have better luck with Python. The pool is a lot smaller, although it may be that you can hire from the Java pool more easily that way.

Re: Where are all the Perl programmers?
by mikeraz (Friar) on Jan 31, 2006 at 05:00 UTC

    Are you growing so fast that you can't promote from within and hire junior people to grow up with the company?

    I'd be interested, well if you were in Portland, but my delusions don't extend to thinking that I qualfiy as a "senior" Perl programmer.

    Be Appropriate && Follow Your Curiosity
Re: Where are all the Perl programmers?
by hubb0r (Pilgrim) on Jan 31, 2006 at 06:33 UTC
    We're in a similiar boat (opposite coast, outside of NYC). We've been posting on jobs.perl.org and monster/dice/etc for a while now. We're actually looking for a senior and a junior, but either would do at this point! Definitely having a hard time even finding anyone to apply, much less someone that actually has the skillset we need! oh well...
Re: Where are all the Perl programmers?
by parv (Priest) on Jan 31, 2006 at 08:05 UTC
    My problems, related to obtain a gainful employment, seem to be one|all of ...
    • i happen to be in WV (USA), though i always mention i will relocate;
    • haven't used MySQL but have paid experience of SQL w/ IBM DB2, which counts for nothing;
    • am aware of OO & have written OO modules for personal use (not on CPAN), but have not written a heavy or of very long line count module;
    • even though some ad would mention the job would be suitable for a programmer who can learn new things, in interview|screening process i would be told i don't know this or that.

    Update, a few minutes later: some grammatical updates.

      As long as we're listing problems :-) Some of mine have been at one time or another (according to the employer):
      • Too much perl experience
      • Not enough perl experience
      • Too much of a database person
      • Not enough database experience
      • Too much Unix, not enough Windows
      • Too much Windows, not enough Unix

      Also, I am currently not willing to relocate (unless you want to triple my salary AND pay relocation) or commute long distance, the few local positions that I've found do not pay enough, and it's near impossible to find a telecommute position. So, for now, I will just stay where I'm at :-)

Re: Where are all the Perl programmers?
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Jan 31, 2006 at 09:46 UTC
    For those who are hiring Perl programmers, where do you find them? I've been trying to hire some senior Perl programmers (web and general scripting), posted on jobs.perl.com, and went through Craig's list and Monster, still couldn't seem to find any. Am I missing some watering holes? or as some people suggested, all the good ones are happily working, and they don't make Perl programmers anymore? (BTW, I'm in the San Francisco bay area.)

    I'd say that getting a good senior Perl person is about twice as hard a getting a good senior Java person - so you may need to expend more effort that you would normally expect. (It's worth the effort of course since a good Perl developer will probably be more productive in many situations.)

    The good programmers are, of course, in work. For 95% of the time all good programmers will be in work. That's almost the definition of a good programmer :-) You might want to look at your job adverts with that in mind. You might find Ovid's post and my rant useful.

Re: Where are all the Perl programmers?
by talexb (Canon) on Jan 31, 2006 at 15:24 UTC

    One more suggestion that no one's mentioned yet: offer your employees a bounty on a Perl programmer. It's surprising sometimes how large some people's network is, and who they know.

    Failing that, consider hiring some good community college graduates and grow your own Perl programmers.

    Good luck with that, and let us know how it all turned out.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

      Wasn't there this theory that says everyone on earth can be connected to any other person by a maximum of 7 persons in between? I googled, but seem to fail to use the right keywords.


      holli, /regexed monk/

        Well, this is off topic, but I had quite a surreal moment while watching Bob Blumer on The Surreal Gourmet a few months back -- he was entertaining Heidi von Palleske. I went to university with Heidi's sister Aurora and was at Heidi's book launch a few years back in Toronto; and I know Bob from growing up in Montreal and later when he managed Jane Siberry in Toronto.

        Weird.

        Alex / talexb / Toronto

        "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

Re: Where are all the Perl programmers?
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 31, 2006 at 16:39 UTC
    There are also some Perl programmers (myself included) who are ready to switch jobs but are not able to find anything locally and not willing to move. My family and I love the smaller city in which we live. Finding another job that will allow me to work remotely (as I do today) has proven to be difficult task.
Re: Where are all the Perl programmers?
by merlyn (Sage) on Feb 01, 2006 at 03:15 UTC
    If you're having trouble finding good people, it's because you're not paying enough. There's always someone willing to do the job for enough money.

    Now, if the money is more than you can afford, you need to rethink your business plan.

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
    Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

      And related to that, you may be trying too hard to hide what you are paying. I'm tired of people calling me up with great job offers and wasting a lot of time before I find out that the most they are willing to pay is about $20k less than I'm currently making... At least tell me that up front and don't waste both our time


      We're not surrounded, we're in a target-rich environment!
      If you're having trouble finding good people, it's because you're not paying enough. There's always someone willing to do the job for enough money.

      I like to think of it as the combination of two factors:.

      • You are not paying enough
      • You are doing boring work

      :-)

        More generally, the job is not rewarding enough, through pay, satisfaction, location, etc.

        This is all basic micro-economics of supply and demand. If demand for "good" Perl programmers is high and the supply low, "prices" (i.e. rewards) must rise. Alternatively, employers will need to find a substitute, either lower-quality programmers or switching their projects (if they can) to a language with a higher supply of programmers and thus lower costs.

        (Which may not prevent them from miscalculating what is really lower cost over the long term -- paying a lot for good Perl programmers or paying very little for crappy programmers in language X. Economics says that people are rational -- but not that they are good at math.)

        -xdg

        Code written by xdg and posted on PerlMonks is public domain. It is provided as is with no warranties, express or implied, of any kind. Posted code may not have been tested. Use of posted code is at your own risk.

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