Out of order points of reply.
- My presumption that he had been doing Perl for work is based on his phrase, ...but work has never brought me to these places.
- His phrasing, ...am I an accidental wise-man...is some of this other stuff marginal and/or just for elegance? strongly suggested to me that he is looking to validate his continued non-investment in self-education. I therefore wanted to write a reply that he couldn't possibly misinterpret. Yes, I am reading between the lines there. I know that my habit of trying to read between the lines sometimes gets me into serious unnecessary trouble. But I believe that the times I hit on something important that would otherwise have been missed pay for the occasional debacle.
- I think that it is relevant that you independently would have decided based on the above information to not hire. That demonstrates that my opinion is not exactly an isolated one. I think that it is nicer to honestly tell people who ask where they can improve than to be silent and let them be confused later about why they are being rejected.
- I thought that it was worthwhile to add to this thread a short discussion of some of the things that people (both the original poster and other bystanders) should look to get out of their own learning efforts.
- The only set of expectations that I try to satisfy are my own. I long ago accepted that trying to meet other people's expectations is a losing game which I won't worry about. OK, I'm not as extreme as Linus, but I certainly understand where he is coming from...