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

Hildo Biersma hpp at
Wed Aug 9 15:38:06 BST 2006

On Mon, Aug 07, 2006 at 08:57:55PM +0100, Dirk Koopman wrote:
> Really?
> I have lost count of the number of times people (including me) have
> asked on here for some concrete examples of "how to test" and only got
> some vague hand/willy waving as a result. 

I'd be interested to hear what other peoplem do, but here's how I filter
out 90% of candidates at the phone screening level:

- What versions of perl have you used?
- What modules have you used?
- What is the largest perl program you've ever written or maintained?

Most candidates with "perl expert" on their resume don't pass those
questions.  Mind you, those questions would be insulting to anyone with
*real* perl skills, but such people tend to be rare.

I admit that I was once called to do an interview and had no prep -
hadn't seen the resume, hadn't had the time to do research, and my
second question was answered by "CPAN module X, Y and Z that I
help maintain".  Needless to say, he was hired :-)


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