Alternative sources of Perl programmers

Duncan Garland duncan.garland at
Mon May 13 22:22:05 BST 2013



We're advertising for a Perl programmer again, and once again we are
struggling. It's a shame because we've got quite a lot of development work
in the offing, mostly using Catalyst, DBIx::Class, Moose and the like.


I spoke to the agent today and asked why so few people are coming forward.
His view was that there aren't many Perl vacancies about at the moment, and
even fewer people are interested in them.


What are other companies doing about this?


We've got several PHP projects on the go as well. It's easier to get local
PHP programmers and when we can't, there seems to be a constant supply of
good Eastern European programmers. Why isn't there the same stream of
Eastern European Perl programmers?


A second possibility is to cross-train experienced programmers from other
languages into Perl. However, Perl has got itself such a reputation for
being difficult to learn that the CTO winces whenever I suggest the idea.
How have other companies got on when they've said that they will take
experience in Python/Django or Ruby/Rails or whatever in lieu of experience
in Perl/Catalyst? Was anybody interested and did they succeed?


The third possibility is just to move some of the projects ear-marked for
Perl into the PHP camp. I don't really believe that they can't be done in
PHP, but it's a pity because they sit nicely with similar successful
projects we've done in Perl. (A Catalyst-based system of ours won an
industry-wide prize for "Best Digital Initiative" a couple of months ago.)


All the best.





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