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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I have been delaying this update in the hope that a review of a videotape would provide definitive evidence, but attempts to obtain that information have not succeeded. But we can't wait forever for resolution, so here's an update.

    On the basis of the written record provided by Autrijus Tang [], it seems likely that the questions were stated a bit differently than I and some others present had recalled; here's a pseudo-code rendition of his version:

    if (outcome_of_discussion() > $threshold_for_action) {
        do_development() ;

    Accordingly, I've offered an updated interpretation [] of the results. Put simply, IMHO we should now say that the majority voted "conditionally for" Perl Certification, rather than simply "for", to reflect their expressed support for "continued discussion, and possible development, of a certification program by the Perl community".

    FWIW, the panelist who actually phrased and uttered the voting questions at OSCON has doubts about the accuracy of the new report on the "yes" question, but he was very busy during the conference and admits his recollections are fuzzy. But in such cases we've got to go with the written evidence, IMHO.

    Sorry for the confusion engendered by my original reports of the outcome, and thanks to all who helped sort things out -- peer review rules!


    Dr. Tim Maher
    CEO, Consultix
    Perl and UNIX Training []
    • So some unknown portion of the FOR voters were voting against prejudicially closing debate, as opposed to voting for immediate development. This adequately explains the shock & awe in the community to the early reports.

      As Col.McKean said in Continental Congress about the question of discussing the question of Independence, nothing is too dangerous to talk about. In an open source community, I would hope the vote would be to discuss almost anything. (I draw the line at discussing deprecation of Perl

      # I had a sig when sigs were cool
      use Sig;
      • I am somewhat disturbed that a vote to continue discussion has been repeatedly reported as a vote to start a process. Apparently this was an inadvertent result of natural human optimism and vagueness combined with lack of formal minuting at a non-bureaucratic event.

        ... not to mention the spontaneity of the vote being sprung on us all, and the odd wording of the questions. What's more, "optimism" wasn't required for a reaction of "shock and awe". Nat Torkington, who was both present and against the idea o


        Dr. Tim Maher
        CEO, Consultix
        Perl and UNIX Training []
        • I did my best to observe foy's law[*] on this discussion, but this point needs to be addressed:

          The existence of University certificates that include Perl tells me that the lack of certified programmers is not what is blocking Perl adoption in mainstream IT hiring. I think it's a fantasy that a sudden supply of Certified Perl Mongers would create a demand for such.

          AFAIK, the program I'm affiliated with at the U of WA is one of only a handful in the entire USA. So the relative shortage of such programs c

        • My feeling is that the first type of certificate we'd want to produce would be simply one that tests familiarity with the core language itself, which would be just enough to help HR departments screen out JAPH impersonators.

          Do you really mean to use the word 'familiarity'?

          As a person who hires perl programmers, I'm not looking for familiarity, I'm looking for proficiency. And not just proficiency in in knowing perl, but proficiency in the application areas, namely database interaction, secure web progr

          • I'll weed out the players. If I'm not hiring an entry level position, I want to hear about projects, applications, live sites, etc.

            I can evaluate familiarity in an interview in about 2 minutes.

            I'm sure you can; but the benefit of even the most rudimentary type of Perl Certificate would be that it would let your HR department filter out those who don't have a basic grasp of the language before they ever get to the point of a scheduled interview with you (whether by phone or in person). If you get 200


            Dr. Tim Maher
            CEO, Consultix
            Perl and UNIX Training []