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perigrin (3495)

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After Middle School Chris bounced through various high schools around the state of Florida for a bit. He ended up getting a BA (in English) from the University of Central Florida at about the time others his age were getting their MAs. His (now) wife, their child, and he went to Europe for a bit (there was a programming job in Scotland) and came back unemployed where upon he got offered a job in St. Paul. He moved on from that job after a few years to one where he was paid to do the things he previously did as a hobby. That sounds much more exciting than it really was. Really his life is based on two kids, two cats, and a bunny.

Journal of perigrin (3495)

Tuesday May 20, 2008
09:43 AM

Why I am Passionate About Perl

[ #36475 ]

brian d. foy was asking for information about “Why People Are Passionate About Perl” for his keynote. I posted this originally to my own site but decided to save brain some google juice and repost here.

The person who introduced me to Perl showed me that…

Nobody actually introduced me to Perl. I found it on my own. In 1996 when you had finished learning HTML and CSS and wanted to have a job in the industry Perl was pretty much the best choice because most of the web apps back then were written in it. Things have changed, but Perl was my first serious attempt at learning a programming language.

I first starting using Perl to…

Find a job that didn’t suck. I succeeded but it took a while.

I kept using Perl because…

Well I didn’t. I went to VB and then to Pascal cause that’s what the Computer Science department was taught in, but I came back to Perl because I wanted to do web development. The biggest reason I came back to Perl was a job where the project was being ported from Cold Fusion to Java, and I was hired to install WebSphere on the target platform. The platform used Perl for all of the configuration managment. After 3 days of trying to get Websphere installed, I asked if I could try porting ot mod_perl, after a week I had more done than they’d had done in Java and the rest was history.

I can’t stop thinking about Perl…

Because after 10 years it is the way I think about programming. Perl has warped the way I think so that I naturally think the way it flows. This has improved a bit since I discovered Moose. I think that I can better express my ideas to others because of the new found clarity, but the fact remains that I still think first in Perl and then translate to whatever else I’m writing.

I’m still using Perl because…

Happily I’m paid to write Perl for a living. I’ve worked damn hard to make sure that continues to be true because I hate working in a place where I can’t give my full effort.

I get other people to use Perl by…

JFDI. Write code, release it, tell others about it. You can’t force people to something just because you love it. You can only show them how enthusiastic it has made you, and show them how it solves your problems. Hopefully they catch on, or at least stay out of your way.

I also program in … and …, but I like Perl better since…

I’ve worked in Java, PHP, VB (ASP and Straight VB), Pascal, etc. I like Perl because it (mostly) lets me express the idea or algorithm rather than forcing the idea or algorithm to express the language. The hardest part of re-learing Java after having worked in Perl for several years was realizing that you had do to things the way Java decided, not the way that they most naturally were expressed. With ASP and PHP the fact was I constantly felt I had to write around holes in the language.

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