I started working with perl professionally seven years ago. Coming from
a C programming background I found perl to be wonderfully expressive, and a fun language to
work with. I became more serious about the language when I attended the
2000 University of Perl
and took classes offered by Nathan Torkington and Dominus
. During this period I was a reasonably skilled
perl hacker, but a horrible engineer. Abuses of tie, map, and symbol tables littered my code.
At some point I had an epiphany and realized that writing clever code was pointless if it
did not accomplish something meaningful for the business. I adopted the motto "Don't be clever -
be maintainable". I focussed more on writing code that was readable, testable, and sane. No more
giant magical black box monstrosities. At this point I considered myself fairly adept, with enough
wisdom to avoid shooting myself in the foot.
Last year I rediscovered perlmonks and created a profile to discuss something in the chatterbox.
I posted my first SoPW a little less than a year ago (2005-12-30) and
was impressed by the community feeling and the expert advice offered. The question wasn't a
particularly good one, but I got useful feedback from a number of people, including perrin,
diotalevi, and merlyn. For years I had wanted to work with more experienced programmers,
but never had the opportunity - perlmonks fills that need for me now.
After several months of reading the site on a daily basis I posted a reply to someone's question for the
first time. I realized that I missed mentoring, and became addicted to the site.
Answering questions here has improved my perl abilities tremendously. There are countless topics
that I "knew", but didn't know well enough to explain to someone else. Replying to
questions has forced me to explore those areas and challenge some of my assumptions.
Even more instructive are the answers provided by other monks. I learn by reading
alternative approaches, more thorough answers, and corrections to my own answers.
Welcome to perlmonks Andrew - I hope you find it as helpful as I have.
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