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

Adam Turoff ziggy at
Mon Aug 7 20:06:05 BST 2006

On Mon, Aug 07, 2006 at 04:49:19PM +0100, Dave Cross wrote:
> Ah yes. Pascal was the teaching language of choice on my degree[1]. In  
> the final year we did a course in C, but that was largely reading K&R  
> whilst a lecturer who also didn't know C read a couple of chapters  
> ahead.

Those were the days.  Back when IBM ruled the glass house, and
fast machines were measured in MHz and fractions of MIPS.

> Then my first real job was with a company who were rewriting their  
> CASE tool (who remembers CASE tools?) from Pascal to C. So it was full  
> of professional Pascal programmers and there were about three of us  
> who knew C. The project was very late (tho' at least six months of the  
> delay can be directly attributed to the release of Tetris!)

That reminds me of my first job using C.  It was a Prime shop that was
managing an online system written in a mix of FORTRAN IV and Fortran 77.
Lots of string manipulation in there, and the fresh meat^W^Winterns were
more comfortable in C than Fortran.  I was the first C programmer they 
hired, and spent lots of time deciphering the manuals to figure out how
to get the two compilers to interoperate.

A friend of mine worked at the same shop.  His job was to teach these
(mediocre) Fortran programmers how to program in C, which led to this

	F: Hey, in C, can you...
	C: Yes.
	F: But you didn't wait to hear the rest of my question.
	C: Yes.  That's because the question was wrong.
	F: What do you mean?
	C: The question isn't _can_ you do something in C.  
	   The question is _how_ do you do something in C.

-- Adam

More information about the mailing list