Alternative sources of Perl programmers

Peter Corlett abuse at
Tue May 14 16:58:18 BST 2013

On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 10:22:05PM +0100, Duncan Garland wrote:
> 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.

It seems that every Perl job advert lists a collection of Modern Perl modules,
a database, and a Linux distribution, and asks for expertise in them all, and
none of them stand out from the crowd. I don't know if I've even seen your
advert as you didn't say who the company is. I've certainly not had my interest
piqued by it if I did.

> 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?

Well... I'd consider firing that agent for a start, as it almost sounds as if
he's passively waiting for candidates to turn up rather than aggressively
hunting them, or perhaps he has such a poor reputation in the community that
people are refusing to deal with him.

Another problem is that more or less all of the good Perl hackers are already
working on things they love, or at least don't despise enough, that they're
disinclined to jump ship based on a bland description that doesn't sound better
than what they've got already. Offering more money is the obvious motivator,
but not necessarily the best. Working from home, an unusually large amount of
annual leave, seven hour days, foreign travel, training, conference visits,
career advancement, that sort of thing. If that's not in the job description,
we'll just have to assume the job is unappreciated code monkey, sat in a
horrible open-plan office eight hours a day, 232 days a year.

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