Alternative sources of Perl programmers

Graham Feegan Graham.Feegan at
Tue May 14 09:23:10 BST 2013

Hi Duncan

I'm a Perl specialist recruiter.

The candidate market is very tough. Over the last 3-6 months there hasn't been many new candidates making themselves available or open to new opportunities, therefore I can probably understand why your agent might be struggling. Your agent needs to think outside the box a little, just advertising and searching Job boards, just doesn't work at the moment.

I disagree with your agent about "there aren't many Perl vacancies". There are plenty of Perl roles out there; they are just slightly tricky to fill.

Finding PHP Developers is fairly straight forward and offering to cross-train would be appealing to many candidates. However if depends on timescales, can you afford to spend time training someone?

I forgot to ask is this a permanent or contract role? If you're considering contractors, then remote workers should definitely be considered! I work with quite a few guys based in Poland, Romania, Germany and Sweden. My clients tell me that the work is brilliant and they can keep track on what's being produced. 

The other benefit of remote workers is that sometimes they can be cheaper on a day rate, because there aren't any commuting costs involved etc. 

Don't just rely on the recruitment agency to find you people. Direct advertising and networking can work just as well. 

Graham Feegan
IT Executive Group Ltd
Direct Line: 0845 250 8634
Mobile: 07787 227 079
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-----Original Message-----
From: at [ at] On Behalf Of Duncan Garland
Sent: 13 May 2013 22:22
To: ' Perl M[ou]ngers'
Subject: Alternative sources of Perl programmers



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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