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Mr. Muskrat (4572)

Mr. Muskrat
  reversethis-{moc ... ta} {tarksum.rm}

I'm married with 2 girls. I work as a full time Perl programmer for a Land Mobile Radio company in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

I am enrolled at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online working towards a Bachelor of Science in photography.

My other blog []

Journal of Mr. Muskrat (4572)

Wednesday July 06, 2005
07:03 PM

Teaching Perl

[ #25554 ]

About a week ago my supervisor told me that there is some interest in a Perl class among some of the Tier 3 resources (people who fix the code defects). She asked if I would be interested in teaching it. Of course, I said yes.

This week I had a meeting with my supervisor and one of the Tier 3 leads. It was decided that the class would be taught in four 3 hour sessions and that part of each session would be set aside for programming exercises. I recommended "Learning Perl" as the text.

I wrote up an outline right after the meeting that has me teaching the entire text. I have started writing my teaching plan as a series of (extended) lightning talks so that hopefully, I will have enough time left for questions and programming exercises.

I am not so sure that I can adequitely teach the class in the time allotted and still have the time needed for the exercises. I know that I can trim each chapter down but I am not sure which chapters should get the most emphasis. I am also not sure how many exercises to use for each chapter given that these are programmers and not total noobs.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Below you will find the outline as of right now.

Class::Learning::Perl - A class to teach Perl that uses ``Learning Perl'' as the foundation.

Given that we will be limited to four 3 hour blocks of instruction, I have broken down the book into managable pieces. The class will cover the cornerstones of Perl knowledge while touching on some of the more advanced topics.

Day 1:

Chapter 1:
Chapter 2:
Scalar Data
Chapter 3:
Lists and Arrays
Chapter 4:
Chapter 5:

Day 2:

Chapter 6:
I/O Basics
Chapter 7:
Concepts of Regular Expressions
Chapter 8:
More About Regular Expressions
Chapter 9:
Using Regular Expressions

Day 3:

Chapter 10:
More Control Structures
Chapter 11:
Filehandles and File Tests
Chapter 12:
Directory Operations
Chapter 13:
Manipulating Files and Directories

Day 4:

Chapter 14:
Process Management
Chapter 15:
Strings and Sorting
Chapter 16:
Simple Databases
Chapter 17:
Some Advanced Perl Techniques
Appendix B:
Beyond the Llama
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  • If these people know another language already, I'll bet they'd soak up the Perl best if you showed them side-by-side examples (how you'd do something like read a line of data in Perl and how you'd do it in the language they already know, for example).

    There is nothing like teaching to make you really learn something :) I had to teach an Introduction to HTML last fall and ended up learning how to do useful CSS for the first time, while I taught it.

    • Hi, I found your post about 'teaching perl" and I was hoping you could help me: I'm learning perl right now and I'm supposed to do my project at the same time. I need to access the data in a particular column of a particular sheet of an excel file; I also need to do a search for close matches in two lists of names (i used grep but that does exact matches) and I don't know how to do that. If you would please reply I'd really appreciate it. Thank you.
      • Check out PerlMonks []. This is a common question and so you should be able to quickly find a solution there that you can understand.
      • The "use Perl;" site isn't the best place to get this kind of question answered; the journal system is used more for blog-type posts by individual users.

        The FAQ for this site sorta tells you that but doesn't have a link to places where you can get answers to your kind of question.

        What's this site for?

        Thanks for asking. This site is intended (for now) to be a site where the Perl user community can get information about and discuss the latest news and issues related to Perl. This site is not (for now :)

  • Aside from getting the authors of Learning Perl to teach the class (we wrote the book and slides based on what we actually teach), here's the best advice for you:
    • You can cover each chapter in about an hour
    • Give the students about 45 minutes for each section of exercises (less for the first chapter
      and a couple near the end)
    • I don't think you'll be able to do lectures and exercises in 12 hours. We teach that in 30 hours, and we have precise timing for everything and a lot of experience to make it come ou
    • Everyone in the class already knows how to program in Java, C++, or some other language. Many have a very basic understanding of Perl already (data types, operators and some of the functions for example). I would have been much more comfortable with extra time but at least I'm not stuck with five one hour classes. It's definitely going to be a crash course though.

      I have a few options:

      1. Request extra classes
      2. Cut out the exercises
      3. Cut back on the topics
      4. Cut back on the subject matter even further

      I would