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sigzero (5768)

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I am the proverbial "accidental" programmer. I have found that I really like Perl and programming so I am pursuing that route now. I am the Debian systems administrator and junior Perl programmer for a company called Inspire.

Journal of sigzero (5768)

Tuesday May 08, 2007
06:37 PM

How does one get to "know" Perl?

[ #33221 ]

I am just curious. I do not have formal education. I do like Perl though. Sometimes it is hard for me to wrap my head around how to do some things that "I" think should be easy. I recently changed projects to a Perl one where I will be maintaining some Perl and refactoring it. Is my path just reading reading reading and taking classes when time allows?

If you are not formally educated (meaning college) as a programmer what did you do?

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  • I started by reading everything I could find on Perl. Then I started using Perl to add functionality to my web site. Later I started writing stand-alone apps so that I wouldn't have to buy some pricey piece of software. A short time after that I started using Perl at work to make my data entry job easier. (Stop laughing, the job market sucked.)

    It was at that time that I found Perl Monks. I would read the posts every day and absorb as much as I could. I started posting replies when I knew the answer (o

    • I wish you all the best. May it be a fun and enlightening journey!

      I am hoping it will be and I hope to learn enough to give back to the community in some way.

  • While I am college educated I didn't get a degree in programming. I picked up Perl while a software tester. It was mostly for stuff not directly related to the job.

    I got better by reading, hanging out on clpm and reading everything. This started way back in 1996.

    I've rusted somewhat because my current job as a sysadmin hasn't pushed my Perl skills.

    I'm aiming to get sharp again.
  • I spend some one or two years at the university, but I was studying sociology and not computer science. When I started with Perl ~10 years ago, I learned all I needed from books like "Learning Perl" and "Advanced Perl Programming (1st Ed.)". In retrospect, my code from this time was horrible.

    Then I started to go to conferences (YAPC::Europe [], German Perl Workshop, ..) where I learned a lot (not so much on Perl itself, but more on general development strategies, testing etc). It also helps to give talks, be

  • I read the perl-1 manpage. That's how I got started.
    • Randal L. Schwartz
    • Stonehenge
    • I have started printing out the POD stuff (perlreftut, etc.) to read.
      • I started out with Learning Perl, I have given away copies of this marvelous book. It has assignments, this is what can really get you going, problems that need solving, hands-on is the best way in my opinion.

        I am self-taught, I have some academic experience, but I never finished anything, there was simply too much work :)
  • so much so, that I have been toying with the idea of writing a book on the topic. In any case, here are a few links I have written that may be of some interest: