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Can Perl be more than a hobby language?

by Alien (Monk)
on Nov 15, 2006 at 15:21 UTC ( #584176=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
Alien has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

You're my last resort :) ... my friends and teachers tell me that i shouldn't waste my time learning Perl because I can't make any real money using it . They say that i should choose a language like Java/C/PHP but i like Perl better ... What can I do ?
  • Comment on Can Perl be more than a hobby language?

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Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by brian_d_foy (Abbot) on Nov 15, 2006 at 15:53 UTC

    You don't have to pick a single language. Learn Perl and Java and C. No matter what you pick, you can always change later, and the most valuable programmers have experience in several environments.

    If you are just starting your career, don't make bets on what will make a lot of money five years from now. Plenty of Perl will be around, but that doesn't mean anything to future earning potential. Get a good education and learn as much as you can so you have options.

    You might have trouble getting Perl jobs due to geography, but if you live in the right places, plenty of big companies will snap you up if you have Perl skills. Indeed, recruiters will hound you if you're good enough (although that's more of a curse than a blessing :) ).

    Update: I guess I should answer the question: Perl has never been a hobby language. It's always been a practical, get-real-work-done language.

    brian d foy <>
    Subscribe to The Perl Review
      I also agree with Brian. Perl should be in your toolbox. There will be times when you will find that perl is a better tool than Java or C, and times when it isn't. Just like you don't pound nails in with a screwdriver. I have advocated scripting knowledge for engineers for many years now (and not just CSEs).
      Yes, I agree. If you will start C/C++ learning, other languages will be relatively easy :).

      My additions - detail knowledge of languages is not enough, imho:

      (X)HTML, JavaScript, CSS, if you want to do something related with web.
      SQL and related languages, if you want to do something with databases.
      XML family, if you want to do something with XML.

        Not sure what do you mean by "relatively" but teaching Prolog or a functional language to someone who's only seen C/C++ is, sometimes very, hard. I remember all those seasoned coders (or rather walking C code generators) unable to grok that a program doesn't have to be a list of instructions to follow, but might very well be just a detailed list of relations between the ... erm ... two or more things. Since Prolog predicates work both ways, you do not have input and output parameters. Prolog predicates define the relation between some X and Y so if you specify X, you get Y and if you specify Y you get X. So ... do you want to split a list in two or merge two lists to one ...

        Just like learning French and Spanish will help fairly little in later learning Czech or Russian and even much less in learning Japanese, learning one or 1.5 languages will not necessarily help much with languages that are really different.

Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by renodino (Curate) on Nov 15, 2006 at 16:15 UTC
    DICE job search, by keyword, 10 days, no restrictions, all regions:
    • Java: 13959
    • Perl: 4150
    • Java AND Perl: 1940
    • PHP: 1073
    • Python: 665
    • Ruby: 232
    Yes, that Java number is pretty big, but the intersection is pretty big too. So:
    1. learn both Java and Perl.
    2. get a Java job
    3. use Perl to get loads of stuff done in 1/5 the time as Java
    4. get big promotion, and convert organization to Perl
    5. Profit!
      2. get a Java job
      3. use Perl to get loads of stuff done in 1/5 the time as Java

      My guess is that this happens a lot. I've seen it in action, actually. We had an old mailer app written in Java that was pretty large and undocumented. One day the server it was on had a drive go bad, and it turned out that this Java program was not backed up. My boss at the time asked for a replacement, so I whipped up a small Perl script that did basically the same job. When asked why I didn't use Java, I replied, "Well, I just wanted to quickly get something working." It's been in service ever since.

      Perl is so delightfully insidious this way. It's like a virus because it's so useful. :)

        Perl is so delightfully insidious this way. It's like a virus because it's so useful. :)

        I love perl, I really REALLY do, but once you know any language fairly well, you can develop in it very well. You're prolly been in service ever since since you are a good developer. :)

        I'd take statements like that as annecdotal. Ask steve gibson and he'd be quick to say ASM is the way to go. Lord help me if I ever write mail programs in ASM when I can do it so much faster in other languages.

Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by davorg (Chancellor) on Nov 15, 2006 at 15:28 UTC

    Don't know it this helps, but for the last ten years I've worked as a freelance developer and have largely specialised in Perl. In that time I've consistantly earned well over the UK national average income and the only times that I've had trouble finding work is when the whole IT consultancy market was shrinking. I'm sure that others here have similar stories.

    So, yes, it can be more than a hobby language. In fact I consider myself lucky that my hobby is also my job.


    "The first rule of Perl club is you do not talk about Perl club."
    -- Chip Salzenberg

      I have been a employed Perl Programmer in the UK for the last 6 years and have earned a good wage from it. I have worked for three companies in the south west that needed Perl skills. I also have a lot of PL/SQL experience as well, but It's always my Perl experience that comes through at the Job interview.

      I think all good programmers can progran in a variety of languages, so choosing a couple of languages is essential, afterall you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket. It's more important to learn to design and code correctly and then choose the appropriate language than it is to blindly stick to one language.

      The one downside of Perl is that a lot of employers want Perl skills but not as the Primary skill set, so in the south west at least it can take a little while to find a new job, however after coming back from traveling abroad for a year, it took me less than a month to get a Perl job, that lasted more than two years, before I decided to move on.

      Hope that helps.
Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by wjw (Priest) on Nov 15, 2006 at 16:00 UTC
    Your teachers and friends are wrong. It is that simple. I have the job I have now because I am a mid-level Perl programmer. Check out Perl Jobs, there is plenty of work for good Perl programmers.

    I have programmed in other languages, PHP, VB, VBScript, C#, but I like Perl. I am a better programmer in Perl than in any of the other languages because I like it. And yeah, I could probably make more money if I was a Java programmer, but I would not like it, and would probably not be very good at it.

    Bottom line is;

    • You can make money by being a good at Perl because there is a demand.
    • If you like it, you will be good at it (with work/practice, of course)

    A few other points to consider:

    • It is unlikely that you will program exclusively in Perl anyway.
    • A lot of what you learn in Perl is what you learn in other languages anyway, so learning in something you like will simply enhance/speed up your learning process in other languages
    • Perl is a tool, not THE tool. Other tools (C/Java/etc..) will be better applied in many situations. ( I like to prototype in perl, then migrate to whatever else is better suited)

    Hope this offers something meaningful. :-)

    ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...

Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by philcrow (Priest) on Nov 15, 2006 at 15:30 UTC
    Point out that many companies like and TicketMaster are heavily invested in Perl. Tell them about my company we are Sunflower Broadband a Cable/Phone/Internet provider in Lawrence, KS. Our house language is Perl. Occassionally we have to toss in a little C or javascript, but far more than 90% of our code is in Perl.

    Or send them to this link I got from a fellow monk (I forget which one): Programming Jobs by Language. You can see from it that Perl is not most popular, but it sure beats PHP.


      Point out that many companies like and TicketMaster are heavily invested in Perl.

      Blech. There's a short list of companies that has been mentioned for many years as companies that use Perl. I won't deny that they use Perl (although I know more C and Java programmers that work or have worked for amazon than Perl programmers), but that's just anecdotical evidence.

      The fact that a handful of companies do use Perl doesn't prove it isn't much easier to make a living using Java or C.

      I'm not arguing that you can't make a living using Perl, I've doing so for more than a decade myself (although most of the time, it's the result that counts, Perl was my choice, but had I used Python or Java, I would have made the amount of money), but coming up with the same, short list, of companies that use Perl for many years is very meager evidence.

      I do get about two phone calls, and a dozen emails from recruiters a week, trying to interest me for a position. And while my resume oozes Perl, and only mentions Java once (as having followed a three day course many moons ago), I get more Java opportunities passed in my direction than Perl opportunities.

      You can make a living with Perl - but I'd be surprised if making a living with Java wasn't easier. (That is, finding a Java job is easier than finding a Perl job, live itself is easier with Perl than with Java).

        Please read my whole post and not just the first line.

        I explained that my company is an all (or almost all perl shop). I also provided a link to a graph showing that you are correct. Perl is not as popular as other languages.

        The OP asked for help in defending his desire to work in Perl. I was pointing out that there are large and small companies using perl. While it is not the most popular language, it is quite possible to earn money with Perl, rather than using it only as a hobby.

        I don't think the OP was directly asking how easy it would be to get a perl job, merely whether such jobs exist at all. They do.


      Interesting to modify that query by adding C + C++.

      It shows C++ as doing better than Perl though not as well as Java, but C still has higher demand than any of the others.


Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by Errto (Vicar) on Nov 15, 2006 at 15:36 UTC
    My sense is that you are likely to find a number of programming or other technical positions where you will have an opportunity to use Perl even if they don't say "Perl Programmer" in the job title. For example, I'm technically an "IT Systems Analyst - Business Solutions" whatever that is, and the main application I work on isn't written in Perl, but nonetheless I use Perl every day at work. At any rate, if you want a job in the software world you really ought to know at least a few languages anyway.
      My sense is that you are likely to find a number of programming or other technical positions where you will have an opportunity to use Perl even if they don't say "Perl Programmer" in the job title.

      Count me in there. My official title is Technology Coordinator, and I have an assortment of duties, and none of the ones that would show up on a paper description of my job is programming, but I definitely use Perl in the course of my job. Constantly. In fact, I'm not sure what I'd do without it.

      Sanity? Oh, yeah, I've got all kinds of sanity. In fact, I've developed whole new kinds of sanity. You can just call me "Mister Sanity". Why, I've got so much sanity it's driving me crazy.
Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by gloryhack (Deacon) on Nov 15, 2006 at 17:05 UTC
    You should learn and work toward mastery of at least three languages that are in high demand today, and keep an eye on emerging trends as you work toward graduation day -- not emerging hype, but real trends in the marketplace. Your livelihood will depend upon your adaptability to a dynamic environment. Keep your skills sharp, even those you aren't currently using. You never know when the floor is going to drop from beneath your feet and those skills might mean the difference between working as programmer and working as a busboy.

    Here's the lowest-down: Your future employers are going to view you as a piece of thinking machinery whose purpose is to generate income for them. You are going to view your employers as big machines whose purpose is to generate income for you, so you have to have the right plugs and jacks to connect to that employer's cash flow. You have to be the right kind of machine, as does your employer. If your employer can find another machine that will generate more profit than you can, you will be replaced, just as you will replace your employer if another offers you more of whatever it is that you value most.

    Directly addressing Perl: If it's Perl that inspires you, you'd be a fool not to pursue it. You'll learn more about programming if you work with a language that you truly enjoy than you ever will working with one that annoys you. If you have limited classroom time, devote that to whatever you believe is the most marketable language, and pick up Perl in your spare time after the homework is done and you're scoring As in the formal coursework. Then, after you're comfortable with and moderately proficient in Perl, add a third language that you believe is marketable and that you can enjoy working with. Why? Many jobs specify a given language as a requirement, with preference given to those applicants who can also work with other languages that are in use, usually in supporting roles.

    UPDATE: If Perl is what you think will be the most marketable language, then go with it, and add those other two in your spare time. I don't mean to imply that Perl cannot be a good first choice.

    FWIW, I'm self employed as a guy who tickles a keyboard all day discovering the magical keystroke sequences that will make money appear in my mailbox, and most of my time is spent writing in Perl. About a hundred families depend upon the work I do to keep them sheltered, fed, clothed, and well supplied with the conveniences and toys of modern life. It's certainly not a hobby for any of them, or for me and mine. I prefer Perl, but the job doesn't care about my personal preferences and if the need arises I will switch to C, C++, Java, or some other language that I'd have to learn or relearn to get the job done.

    You've done one of the right things by seeking information about a chosen career from those who are actively working in the field. Teachers and guidance counselors are generally fine people whose opinions should be considered, but they're not actually working in the same world you're going to be launched into when they're done with you. Good job, thinking to come here!

Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Nov 15, 2006 at 19:14 UTC

    Get friends and teachers with actual working experience?

    In my experience, the more languages you learn from different language families, the better programmer you will be. Perl is a particularly good multiparadigm language in the sense that it's Algol-like in syntax but fairly malleable. It also has some complex linguistic notions such as topics and context.

    It's helpful also to learn a strongly OO language (Smalltalk is good), Scheme or Lisp, a pure functional language (Haskell, ML, Ocaml, or maybe Factor, though I haven't used it), and a logic programming language (Prolog, though Make might do at a pinch).

Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by j3 (Friar) on Nov 15, 2006 at 16:35 UTC

    If you like Perl better, then use it for your personal projects.

    That said, you might still want to learn Java. Especially now since Sun has apparently GPL'd their implementation. Plus, as an added bonus, it'll be useful to know for when you're porting old Java code to Perl6. ;P

    When you go in for an interview, the interviewer (in my experience) may hand you a dry-erase marker and say, "solve this problem in whatever language you like". Maybe they'll privately be hoping you use Perl. Or Lisp, or something else. The choice you make here says something about your skills and preferences.

    One nice thing about Perl is, you can learn the basics of the language very quickly. Don't be scared off -- Perl does indeed make easy things easy.

Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by Joost (Canon) on Nov 15, 2006 at 17:35 UTC
    If you ever expect to work in a unix environment you'll be glad you know perl. even if you end up using it only for "shell scripts on steroids" it certainly won't be a waste of time. Java, PHP & C aren't exactly the best tools for automating/glueing tools on unix. Perl is.

    As for "non-trivial" "real" projects, this year I've made most of my money working on a 99% Perl project. The other 1 percent of the project was done in C/C++/XS (mainly glue to existing libraries, but also some code to increase performance). The year before I made most of my money coding Java. Next year I expect at least some Ruby/Rails projects.

    Every decent language will teach you something valuable as a programmer. I'm glad I know C, C++, Perl, Ruby & Java. Working with different languages keeps your brain open to new ideas. Also, you'll be more likely to choose the right language(s) for the job.

    In other words: do Perl AND some other languages. I would recommend you also start with C. Perl & C are a pretty good match if you want to combine them and C is everywhere. Writing C will also make you appreciate all the work Perl does for you :-)

Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by BaldPenguin (Friar) on Nov 15, 2006 at 17:06 UTC
    My company is a Perl shop. That is not to say that every once and a while someone may quip "When I did this is XXX, it went like this". Good programming concepts will help you anywhere, no matter the syntax chosen.

    I have learned many languages including VB, C#, Java, PHP, and Perl. In the end, I make more money programming Perl than I did any of the others. In fact C# and PHP have become my hobby languages, and yet I still find myself missing how I do it in Perl whenever I use those languages.

    I also maintain that while many of these languages appear to me able to do the same thing eventually, they all do it differently and as such have different strengths.

    My final answer: Any language can be a hobby language, find a job you like that is challenging, don't limit yourself at the onset to what language you will write. Keep your skills up on all the language you know. Being a programmer, from my point of view, is finding the best way to solve a problem and knowing several languages allows you to state with authority, "I choose Perl because ...".

    Everything I've learned in life can be summed up in a small perl script!
      I'm confident that you guys really know what you're talking about . The truth is , i started learning Perl about one year ago , and this summer i've spent a lot of time learning to code more efficiently and using essential modules . Before this i had some experience coding in C and Java but i don't like them as much as i like Perl :) . So , thank you very much guys!
Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by Skeeve (Vicar) on Nov 15, 2006 at 17:37 UTC

    Why is it either Perl or Java? Why not both?

    I worked as a freelancer for a big bank here in Germany in 2003. The department I worked for specialized in Perl because the development cycles are much shorter than with Java

    Now I'm an employee in a company that focusses on Java. But guess what: More than 50% of the tasks I have to do are easily solved with Perl! Even for development and testing of algorithms I use Perl.

    Personally I found Java extremely hard to learn. You have to know hundreds of thousands of modules really well to just get the easiest tasks done. But that's just my feeling. Each Time I have to do something in Java I have to ask my colleagues for help, or I need one day for a task I solve in an hour in Perl.

Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by qbxk (Friar) on Nov 15, 2006 at 23:32 UTC
    vaguely shocked this didn't make it to the reply list yet:

    Alien, hit up, been keeping me employed for over a year now (but i'm young).

    while you're up and out making yourself useful, if you want to do so in terms of perl, you might also want to become familiar with some of these oft sought skillsets:
    oh yeah, and get to know your linux shell too!

    It's not what you look like, when you're doin' what you’re doin'.
    It's what you’re doin' when you’re doin' what you look like you’re doin'!
         - Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, Express yourself
Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by strat (Canon) on Nov 16, 2006 at 09:39 UTC

    Well, I earn most of my money as a freelancer with Perl since 1998, and this may be more than the average german earns.

    My main task is moving and synchronizing data between different systems for building metadirectories (there CPAN with the whole modules is the best reason for doing it with Perl). There are several tools for synchronizing data for a metadirectory (Siemens, IBM, ...), but they usually take one object from a source, do a mapping to the data, search one object in the target, and update it somehow. This often works fine, but is slow. With Perl (or any other language) you can use better algorithms (e.g. searching for n objects in the target in one step) and get much more speed when working with large directories or the like.

    Sometimes I control external application (e.g. Excel) with perl, or write some little administration GUIs with CGI/mod_perl or Tk.

    I additionally do some perl training, and get more and more offers from companies to teach some of their people in programming perl.

    But a good knowledge of C can be very helpful, at least for a better understanding what happens behind the curtains, or for rewriting functionality that would be too slow in Perl (XS, Inline::C) or to access external C libraries.

    Best regards,
    perl -e "s>>*F>e=>y)\*martinF)stronat)=>print,print v8."

Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by webfiend (Vicar) on Nov 15, 2006 at 19:33 UTC

    It probably depends on what they mean by "real money". I make a very comfortable living writing Perl code, and have for most of the last nine years. I'm not the most expensive developer out there, and I don't try to be. I get to spend all day doing exactly what I love to do with exactly the tools I choose, and I get paid enough to pay my bills and spoil my wife. That's basically heaven on earth.

    There are several languages out there that I've only used as hobby languages, and even they have people who are paid to work with them. REBOL and Pike are the first that come to mind, but there are many others. The thing is, these small "niche" languages have people who enjoy using them and get paid to do so.

    I believe you can find a job if you love a language and learn it well. Please learn others, though. Learn C so you can gain insight into systems programming. Learn Scheme so you can see what a minimalistic language looks like. Explore and learn everything that interests you, because the world of programming languages is a buffet for the curious mind. And shame on your teachers for telling you that learning something is a waste of time.

Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by cog (Parson) on Nov 15, 2006 at 18:28 UTC
    because I can't make any real money using it

    The hell you can't :-)

Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by jrw (Monk) on Nov 16, 2006 at 03:42 UTC
    • There's more important things in life than making money. Enjoying what you're working at is one of them.
    • There are many jobs on the server side which make use of perl. Especially the unix server side. In big and small companies.
    • If you like unix, I would recommend learning the big three: C, shell (ksh/bash/zsh/etc), and a "scripting" language (perl/python/ruby/etc). Each of the three is a critical component which supplements and cooperates with the others.
    • My own preference in "scripting" languages is perl, which, although not as clean as ruby, has many advantages, such as being ubiquitous on unix servers, just like vi is.
    • You can learn java, php, javascript, etc. if you're interested in web programming. But if you're not interested, there are other paths you can take.
Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by lyklev (Pilgrim) on Nov 15, 2006 at 22:41 UTC
    Perl is an awesome tool. I work for a civil engineering company where we are always on tight schedules. We get lots of files in different formats (Autocad, Comma-Separated or just 'some' format) and we need the data converted for the real work. Perl is undoubtedly the right tool for this kind of work.

    We also use Perl to 'glue' vintage Fortran applications to a somewhat friendly interface in a platform-independent way. For Windows, Perl can connect to Excel and other OLE stuff, making it pretty good for windows scripting.

    So Perl is an awesome tool. Perl will probably not make you much money if it is your most important qualification, but it will make work easier. And more fun too

Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by jbrugger (Parson) on Nov 16, 2006 at 06:38 UTC
    I always think this is a nasty question :)
    I tend to think a programming language is just the tool you use.
    Try to learn to be a developer, e.g. learn your design patterns, and know when (not) to use them
    Learn procedural and oo programming, Learn methods to manage your project, and try not to start typing code directly

    When you create your program, the last thing to do is the actual coding, and if it's proper designed, it also takes the least time of it.

    You should always look at the project itself, to see what language suits you the best for that moment, i'd suggest you to look beyond only learning a language.

    When using Perl as your tool, you'll find out it can be rather fun to learn Perl

    "We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise." - Larry Wall.
Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by wojtyk (Friar) on Nov 15, 2006 at 18:59 UTC
    Frankly, if you want money, .NET/C# is the way to go (and Java to a lesser extent). .NET/C# will likely replace Java over the next decade or so as the predominant "portable" programming language (/dons asbestos cloak to protect from flames). And this is advice coming from someone who can't stand Java _OR_ C#.

    I agree with most of the people in this thread...learn it all, you can never know too much. But Perl jobs are few and far between, and the ones you'll come across likely won't be high paying. This isn't saying high paying Perl jobs don't exist, they just are a lot harder to come by.

    That aside, Perl is my favorite language to program in :)

      Java now has a chance of being portable to more than a couple of platforms, in a non-encumbered way. It's really difficult to say the same thing about Mono and C#.

        the jvm has also become the target of other languages implementations. so what ms is pushing for .net is occurring "naturally" for the java runtime. it's refreshing to be able to program in scheme using SISC or Kawa. probably it will be even more so with the GPL. It's definitely a runtime to consider ;)

        it's funny you are mentioning factor -- without having played with it -- i find it interesting too (and its author's blog too) I have played with it a bit as I smelled potential for one of my favourite subject: symbolic manipulation. what is annoying is that I can "play" mostly on HP-UX and cygwin, and these days on HP-UX you have to compile everything by yourself... will have to try co-linux some day

Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by brig (Scribe) on Nov 16, 2006 at 03:35 UTC

    My advice: Do what you like, money cannot compensate for a life filled with drudgery. If you like Java, then by all means learn Java. If you like Perl then learn perl. I could come up with a decent argument that you really should learn Visual Basic - not Java - if money is what you are after...

    IMHO a number of people here have also given you good advice: Don't focus on one language to the exclusion of all others. It is myopic to do so. I have never met a skilled programmer that did not know at least one other language fairly well. I'm not saying there aren't any but if you only have a hammer...

    Remember, it is not about the language - Its about the solution.

Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by joaocoutinho (Novice) on Nov 17, 2006 at 00:30 UTC
    My advice is that you might even learn a "fashionable" programming language, but stick to Perl. Although there are lots of job opportunities for other languages (like Java, for example), there's really a good market for Perl programmers. Here in Brazil, where I live, most of the guys that take part in the Perl Mongers groups work with Perl and make money programming with our favourite language. And certainly not only here. For instance, I also know people working with Perl in Portugal. Perhaps what you should additionally do is to keep in touch with people who work with Perl and, eventually, they might help you get into the market and even make more money than your teachers and friends! Then, you could possibly turn them into Perl addicts! :-) Good luck!
Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by avo (Pilgrim) on Nov 15, 2006 at 22:08 UTC
    I would say they are wrong as well. I am using Perl for more than 8 years now, and so far it has been driving my career. The best thing about Perl is that I've been able to design things that would usually require more than one person. The other thing is that in fact the tools are not the most important thing, but the final result. Anyway. I've designed a huge company Intranet software and also point of sale and business management system entirely in Perl, and only my director knew that I am using Perl. For the clients the important thing was the end result, they don't even knew what Perl means. I personally like Perl because it helped me in the worst times when I could do things quick, with the help of sites like this, as well as CPAN and all other communities and companies that has support for Perl. Apart of talking IT and programming the best thing is to what you like to do - and if it is Perl - then you don't need to think for anything else. I can assure you that Perl has a great and bright future, and there will be more and more serious applications developed in Perl, especially when bigger amount of companies is using web driven applications. Have a look at the success stories for mod_perl and Perl itself on their sites and you will see that.
Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by jonadab (Parson) on Nov 15, 2006 at 22:35 UTC

    Perl is useful to know even if you don't get a job from it. It is *certainly* worth taking the time to learn. Should it be the _only_ language you learn? No. No language should. Learning a variety of languages, preferably from different language families, improves your programming skills in all of them. At minimum, you want to learn a low-level language (assembler or C), a higher-level procedural or structured-programming language (e.g., Pascal), a functional language (preferably something from the Lisp family), an object-oriented language (e.g., Smalltalk or Inform), and a multiparadigmatic language (Perl being likely the best choice here). With each language you learn it gets easier to learn more, so once you've checked off a language for each of those categories you can worry about which ones are going to get you jobs and add them too. Oh, and as far as getting jobs, the best investment you can make is probably SQL, because it's so incredibly easy to learn and yet also useful and in-demand. But you can't program your way out of a paper box if SQL is _all_ you know.

    Sanity? Oh, yeah, I've got all kinds of sanity. In fact, I've developed whole new kinds of sanity. You can just call me "Mister Sanity". Why, I've got so much sanity it's driving me crazy.
Re: Can Perl be more than a hobby language?
by husker (Chaplain) on Nov 16, 2006 at 17:02 UTC
    Ask your teachers if they got into teaching to make "real money".

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Node Type: perlquestion [id://584176]
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