More advice about becoming a freelance Perl programmer

David Cantrell david at
Thu Mar 7 13:05:16 GMT 2013

On Wed, Mar 06, 2013 at 06:54:31PM +0000, Peter Corlett wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 06, 2013 at 04:34:30PM +0000, AJ Dhaliwal wrote:
> > I hope someone can kindly help me with these questions
> > 1) How can I go about finding work?
> Don't typecast yourself as a Perl developer, as that just limits what roles you
> can do. If you can do Perl, you can quickly pick up Python or Ruby, for
> example. (Or Scala if the JVM/.NET is your kink.)

I disagree, a bit.  If you can do perl you can pick up *the basics* of
python or ruby etc pretty quickly. To become as productive as you are in
perl (well, OK, I don't know AJ - to become as productive as someone
with a few years experience in perl) will take a lot longer. You need to
learn the quirks of the language, the toolchain and its quirks, where to
get libraries, how to work effectively with libraries, and of course
what libraries to use and how to tell a good quality library from bad
without wasting time by trying to use them.

All of that requires a lot of experience.

And it's why I wouldn't hire a contractor to work in language $foo who
didn't already have significant experience in language $foo.

With proper employees it's a bit different - you expect them to stay for
longer, so can allow time for getting up to speed with the tools.  Of
course, this doesn't apply if you're the sort of idiot who hires a
contractor for months or years on end, making them effectively a proper
employee but more expensive.

David Cantrell | top google result for "topless karaoke murders"

"IMO, the primary historical significance of Unix is that it marks the
time in computer history where CPUs became so cheap that it was possible
to build an operating system without adult supervision."
                         -- Russ Holsclaw in a.f.c

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