Alternative sources of Perl programmers

David Cantrell david at
Wed May 15 21:03:21 BST 2013

On 15/05/2013 19:42, Abigail wrote:
> On Thu, May 16, 2013 at 12:06:33AM +0800, AJ Dhaliwal wrote:
>> Damian (and Dave cross) disagree with you on that one. A week with them
>> is worth more than a year's actual experience.
> Doubtful.
> There's a lot more to making a good programmer than knowing the language,
> just like being a spelling bee doesn't make you a good novelist.
> When I'm looking for a good Perl programmer, whether the candidate knows
> Perl or not doesn't matter much (of course, if the candidate claims to
> know Perl, (s)he better shows (s)he knows the language); for a good
> programmer, learning a new language should not be a problem.

Learning a new language shouldn't be, but becoming productive in it is. 
Being productive isn't much about the language. It's the quirks of the 
toolchain, learning where to get third party libraries, what The One 
True Solution is to common problems and how to be productive with those 
One True libraries, knowing where to ask for help and who to trust 
(don't ask, for they will answer "yes", "no", and "buffy"), 
and so on.

I'm sure I could pick up python or ruby or javascript or whatever is 
fashionable in a week, but becoming *productive* in them would take 
months of constant use, and probably years of constant use to become as 
productive in them as I am in perl.

Which is why I have put little effort into learning them.  It's so 
offputting to have a simple problem, which I know I could solve with 
twenty or thirty lines of perl in five minutes, and find that because I 
don't know the tools I get frustrated and give up after half an hour in 

David Cantrell | Minister for Arbitrary Justice

More people are driven insane through religious hysteria than
by drinking alcohol.    -- W C Fields

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