...the company has decided to convert all large perl applications into it's nemesis.. java.
- I don't see Java as a Perl "nemesis". They both have their
uses, champions, and detractors. As another poster noted, colleges
(even trade schools) are churning out Java coders as fast as possible.
Which is probably a good thing, since it usually takes 10x staff to
implement something in Java as it would in (Perl, Python, Ruby).
My preference is Perl, but I do miss some Java features - esp wrt threading - that Java does very nicely (and, I'll add, I'm trying
to implement Perl modules to address that...).
- Finding good developers of any language persuasion
is tough (if you think the Perl pool is thin, think about the
piles of COBOL code out there likely to succumb to coderot
as an entire generation of developers retires!).
There are many developers skating by using
IDE wizards to cover their lack of knowledge of the language
in which they've pimped themselves as being proficient.
Also, since a major portion of Perl users are
- sysadmins, accustomed to just hacking whatever is needed
to keep the systems running at 3 AM so they can get back to bed
- people who picked up Perl casually just to build some simple
- J. Random Hackers who've been using Perl as a general
purpose tool for lots of little odd jobs
I'm not surprised that many of your candidates were not well
versed in the CompSci aspects of Perl. I suspect that many
in the Perl community are not deeply experienced in building
Big Object Oriented Projects. Java, OTOH, is nearly impossible
to use without some grounding in OO basics. I consider it another
strength of Perl that so many people can use Perl effectively without
needing to know all the CompSci esoterica, yet it provides all (well, maybe most
) of the tools needed
to build Big Object Oriented Projects.
So, in reply to the OP Subject line:
No, the Perl community isn't really dying. Its just that there
weren't that many of us (Big Object Oriented Project Perl Developers) to begin with. There are still many, many "little project to just
get it running for the task at hand" perl developers.