[JOB] Perl developer (front-end web devel) (London) from 34k

Jonathan Stowe jns at gellyfish.com
Fri Dec 22 18:08:47 GMT 2006

On Fri, 2006-12-22 at 12:10 +0000, Toby Corkindale wrote:
> You'll need to be familiar with Template Toolkit and Catalyst, and have at least a basic
> understanding of DBIx::Class.

I'm curious about this as I have been seeing it quite a lot recently,
and mostly I might add with similar perl-for-the-web sort of stuff. I
can understanding looking for a familiarity with a particular
application domain or an important underpinning technology, but I'm not
getting the requirement for particular libraries, beyond perhaps knowing
what they are for but that would be something I would find out in an
interview.  I'm pretty certain I'm not seeing, say, adverts for Java
programmers expert in Struts, at least not as prominently (of course I
could just be missing them.) Now I'm wondering why this is: my
presumption would always be that a good programmer should be able to
learn quickly any particular toolkit they needed to - for myself I would
say that is a necessity in the kind of stuff I do. Is it that these
libraries are so complex and difficult to learn that it's not felt that
a mere mortal can be become useful with them in some required timeframe?
Is it possible that Perl is too flexible in the way that an API can be
expressed that knowing a lot about Perl in general is no use when it
comes to using some over-arching toolkit. I'm not sure - I've known
people who didn't know Perl but were good programmers be doing useful
stuff with TT in a few days for instance. 

There is a danger in this, what could be described as a balkanization of
skills, where we go from programmers who happen to be good with Perl, to
Perl Programmers, to Perl Web Programmers, to Perl/Catalyst (or
whatever) web programmers and with a conclusion where the language
simply becomes a scripting facility for the toolkit and disappears. Any
other skills one demonstrably has become redundant.

I'm genuinely curious about this, and it's not aimed at this particular
thing and I'm fairly detached from it as these are not the kind of
things I do. I was toying with taking this to the jobs-discuss list but
I figured it was more a general thing about Perl culture.


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