the "no good Perl jobs"/"no good Perl programmers" myth

Aaron Crane perl at
Mon Aug 7 17:54:40 BST 2006

Adrian Howard writes:
> The number of fresh graduates that have never used a revision control
> system in their life shocks me. Ditto for the number of places I've
> contracted for that are still at the cp -R stage...

There are worse things than that.  I was once on a team that took a codebase
inherited from elsewhere and (after much pain and suffering) dropped it into
CVS.  (This was before Subversion was stable, or we'd probably have chosen
it in preference.)  Unsurprisingly, that improved our lives in many ways.

Some time later, one of us was doing some work on the same code for a
different company.  [Long and tedious story elided here.]  He's a believer
in the value of revision control, but the new company apparently isn't.
Because the new company just doesn't do revision-control, they weren't
willing to set up any kind of source repository for him while he was doing
the work, or to let him set one up for them.

Now that he's no longer doing any work for them, I understand that the
source is riddled with all the nasty crud you'd expect in the absence of
revision control.  (Like large chunks of code commented out, or individual
files copied multiple times with extensions ".good", ".bad", ".working",
".original", etc, because those are the only ways of keeping any history of
what changes have been made.)

I find that particularly disheartening given the effort we made to use
revision control in the first place.

Aaron Crane

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