Encountering the camel
Or - how and why did you start using Perl?
I've been wondering about something lately - how do people roll into using Perl?There Is, of course, More Than One Way To Do It, but I have always thought that
by far the most common way of starting to use Perl was sort of accidently rolling into it and sticking.
Now, I'm a system administrator by trade, and for this kind of critter, Perl is a godsend. Among many other things, Perl is the ultimate glue language for lazy persons, and sysadmins are nothing if not lazy and called upon to glue stuff together. So, my own path to Perl was one of looking for a tool to automate some stuff, discovering this funny language that had some connection to a humpy mammal and never looking back again. I guess that for many administrators out there, this is exactly the way they started using Perl.
However, I'm not so sure that this is the way other people start using Perl. We have, for example, heard of a prof in comp sci using Perl in the curriculum (however awkwardly), and this is not rolling into Perl by any definition. OK, said prof was probably using Perl because it is as good an introduction to general programming concepts as any other, but that post got me thinking about entry paths into Perl programming. Hence this meditation.
In a way, this also touches upon the way Perl is seen in the Real World out there (the one with three piece suits, scary monsters and marketing departments): is Perl still
seen as the ultimate glue language - but only that - or has it grown beyond that.
I realise I'm stepping on thin ice here, but what's the monks take on this? How did you get into Perl and how does this tie into the perception of Perl in Life, the Universe and Everything?