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

Paul Makepeace paulm at
Wed Aug 9 21:06:36 BST 2006

On 8/9/06, Hildo Biersma <hpp at> wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 08, 2006 at 09:55:24PM +0100, Dirk Koopman wrote:

> At the danger of sounding like a recruiter, let me just say that I work
> for a firm that is seriously looking for good perl programmers, pays
> decent salaries, has offices in London and New York, but is in the
> Financial Services industry so sadly not interesting to people like
> Nick.

The company I work is looking for good programmers, period. The
language isn't considered that important as much as the capacity to
actually wield one, indeed several, effectively. The kind of calibre
programmers that can retrain into another and become productive in a
couple of weeks tops (probably a lot of people here I suspect). Oh,
and we're not in the Financial Services industry :-)

> The problem we're seeming to have is that the resumes of the good perl
> candidates never get through HR, as our HR monkeys are trained to look
> for things like "CS degree", "Java experience" etc, and toss out resumes
> that don't have that.

Why is that? That must appear obviously broken to someone in charge.

Our first line recruiters ask candidates questions on well, let's just
say it's pretty freakin' technical. If you're recruiting technical
hires your recruiters should be versed in matters technical. We do
require a degree though, even our admins. Java, python, C++, perl,
haskell, R, C, Lisp...; it's all good.

> Hence I'd like to argue the problem is not just the populairy of perl or
> the lack of jobs, but the poor job that recruiters and HR intermediaries
> seem to be doing.  Which is why folks like Uri are so important...

Getting strong technical folks involved in the entire recruiting
procedure is paramount. That that function is served by one person is
pretty cool, yeah :-)


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