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How has Perl helped you?

by kiat (Vicar)
on May 13, 2005 at 17:18 UTC ( [id://456823] : perlmeditation . print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Hi monks,

Perl has transformed me.

Perl hasn't made me any richer, but it has turned my world upside down, positively :)

My previous job was but anything to do with programming. Over the years, I've learnt more and more about Perl in my leisure and become more certain of what I could do with it.

I developed a website in Perl. It's still at its infancy and it's probably amatuerish.

I wouldn't be comfortable with doing it in any other language, due to my lack of formal training in programming. With Perl, knowing just the tip of it does enable you to get the job done. I can't say that of other languages - Java and C++, for example, in which I had some exploratory experience.

So, in what ways has Perl helped you?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by merlyn (Sage) on May 13, 2005 at 19:50 UTC
    I have a career and a company because of Perl.

    I became a felon using Perl. {grin}

    I've been able to help hundreds (thousands? tens of thousands?) of people to have jobs, careers, and felonies with Perl.

    I've met some of the most interesting people in the world, thanks to being interesting enough for others that I get invited to cool places.

    I've been on 27 week-long cruises, thanks to Perl.

    I can walk into any medium-sized bookstore in the country (world?) and find my name on a shelf. My name has been in print as a by-line over 20 million times. Thanks to Perl.

    I have you all as my friends and associates. Thanks to Perl.

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
    Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

      Perl got me a free O'Reilly T-shirt and a free Template Toolkit book when I setup and joined the O'Reilly User Group Program.


      No seriously, Perl brought me into the Perl community, and I really love that.

      Walking the road to enlightenment... I found a penguin and a camel on the way.....
      Fancy a Just ask!!!
      Q: Are We Your Friends?
      A: We Are Devo!
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on May 13, 2005 at 17:27 UTC
    I have a career, a reputation, a family, and a life's work ... all because of Perl. Sounds good to me!

    • In general, if you think something isn't in Perl, try it out, because it usually is. :-)
    • "What is the sound of Perl? Is it not the sound of a wall that people have stopped banging their heads against?"
      Nicely put! I could not agree more.
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by pboin (Deacon) on May 13, 2005 at 17:52 UTC

    Perl has helped me in a somewhat un-conventional way: It has given me a lot of value in my field. I don't exactly get paid to code. I get paid to make people's headaches go away. So, if I can do that better, faster, and cheaper with Perl, so be it. Most of my clients don't know or care what I run.

    In addition, the Perl mindset and community has made me a much stronger coder, irrespective of what language I'm using that particular day. (It makes me realize just exactly how much I loathe the idea of using COBOL. <g>)

    Perl leverages my average skill to make me very valuable when compared to other coders using inferior toolsets. That's the one biggest advantage I'd say.

Re: How has Perl helped you?
by Forsaken (Friar) on May 13, 2005 at 18:10 UTC
    Perl has taken me gently by the hand and gradually introduced me to some of the finer aspects of programming. Picking up a copy of Perl for dummies and and reading some of the pods was more than enough to get me started on the way to enlightenment. Whereas my first experience with C was akin to banging my head on a concrete wall, Perl was a soft fluffy cushion. Perl has taught me that There Is More Than One Way To Do It. Perl has taught me that as an extension of that it is ok for me to do things My Way. Perl has enlightened me to the shortcomings in other programming languages. And last but certainly not least, Perl has gently guided my path to the monastery, where I might spend such time as I please in the company of enlightened ones.

    Remember rule one...

Re: How has Perl helped you?
by deep submerge (Scribe) on May 13, 2005 at 21:25 UTC
    Perl has enlightened me... It's made me realize that there are higher order concepts to worry about when programming, and to not get caught up in the semantics. So... I think that's helped me tremendously. At this point I think all programming languages are the same... In that I write my solution in a Perlish kinda way. The rest is just figuring out how to write Perl functions/constructs that don't have analogs or to just respect the local nuances/conventions/idioms of the language... (From what I've read recently elsewhere, Perl seems to have a lot of convenient idioms!)

    Perl also made me think of philosophy a whole lot more. I'm not sure what the philosophy of Perl is (I've read "everything is a string") but I do know that Java's philosophy is "everything is an object".

    I dunno. It's hard to explain the rest. Perl has helped change the way I think about the world. Again, more philosophical concepts and abstractions and just fun stuff. Don't sweat the details.

    Oh and in high school I was oft quoted saying "if I perl script can't do it, I won't"

    Cheers. =)
      "... high school ... Perl ..."

      {sigh} You kids. {grin}

      Back when I was in high school, there were no Desktop Computers: just machines that a "department" could share (minicomputers like the Dec 11 series). {insert traditional "snow both ways uphill" blather here}

      -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
      Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.



        When *I* was in high school, I got my first computer -- a DigiComp 1. It had three flipflops and six gates. It was completely mechanical and was manually clocked. We didn't have electronic computers in my high school. Calculators were a novelty.


      I'm not sure what the philosophy of Perl is (I've read "everything is a string")

      No, that's TCL, at least, before version 8 or so (I think), when it got a real compiler, in the same sense that Perl has one.

Re: How has Perl helped you?
by coreolyn (Parson) on May 13, 2005 at 17:47 UTC

    Perl taught me how to learn what development is all about and hence is a cornerstone in the foundation of all my work.

    Can't ask for more than that from a language. :)

Re: How has Perl helped you?
by naChoZ (Curate) on May 14, 2005 at 00:53 UTC

    All of the above for me, also. Learning what development actually is. Design. Data structures. Efficiency. Even a sense of... well... responsibility. Whether that applies to owning a tough problem or simply taking care not to create a new one.

    Perl is also good for learning how to think past your own ego. Not that I'm a terribly egotistical person, but sometimes you just think something should be done a certain way and that way stinks. You just need to be able to face the fact that you're wrong, get over it. Related to that, making progress in Perl requires you to be able to keep your mind open. And minds *are* like parachutes...

    Also, starting this year, Perl is officially my income, so that's definitely a big change for me.


    Where in the nursery rhyme does it say Humpty Dumpty is an egg?

      Minds are like parachutes. They function best when they open at the right altitude.
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by bradcathey (Prior) on May 14, 2005 at 16:21 UTC

    I've had my own graphic design firm for over 27 years. So I was around when the Web was born, and I soon started "cranking out" graphics-bloated static brochureware using CyberStudio (GoLive).

    Fortunately I saw the writing on the wall and realized the web was going dynamic and could soon become a strategic communication's tool for my customers (no bright light--this revelation evolved).

    I loved the Web too much to turn it over to tech firms so I grabbed a used copy of Que's Perl book and started writing dynamic (albeit crappy) code and had something more to offer my customers and keep them in the fold.

    A funny thing happened along the way...I discovered I really liked programming. Making a computer do something was cool. I love the mindstretching (at 53 yrs this is good) challenges of learning new stuff, refining the old, and getting it all to work. Perl has allowed me to combine my passion for design (the analog) with my passion for the web (the digital).

    And it all eventually lead me to this bizarre community of religiously Perlish devotees...

    "The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men." George Eliot

      Now that should be an inspirational speech for all young people, You are never too old to pick up something new.

Re: How has Perl helped you?
by sh1tn (Priest) on May 13, 2005 at 21:49 UTC
    Perl gave me the power to express clearly my thoughts
    in front of humans and in front of machines.

      If you are expressing your thoughts in perl, than those are some pretty special humans you have around you. They must be monks!

      Spem Successus Alit
        And they would answer this thread with a "Perl helped me understand sh1tn"
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by tcf03 (Deacon) on May 14, 2005 at 07:24 UTC
    Through Perl I have learned that I can create beautiful things with some very ugly code, and some ugly things with some beautiful code - and many things in between. I don't code for a living, but I live for the code. Only with perl do I wake up at 3 in the morning and have solved some bizzare problem with some code that I dreamt up while sleeping. I am not a hacker or a cracker, but definatley a hack. Through perl I have learned that there is more to life than 42.

    "Men have become the tools of their tools."
      --Henry David Thoreau
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by TedPride (Priest) on May 13, 2005 at 22:45 UTC
    Perl has saved me huge amounts of time and mind-numbing boredom. It's my language of choice for processing data, since I can throw together some functional code in Perl far faster than I can in C++ or even PHP.
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by JanneVee (Friar) on May 13, 2005 at 22:06 UTC
    It helped me to think different and an insight of how little I actually I know about programming.
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by Ninthwave (Chaplain) on May 14, 2005 at 10:24 UTC

    Perl has taken time from the hours out of work as I come here, and read books. I have contributed to the felony of Merlyn by sending money his direction. It has warped my thought process and basically ruined all that was there before. It has made my boss require more work from me as its use has made me more efficient. All and all perl is ruining my life, and it feels so good in the process.

    "No matter where you go, there you are." BB
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by Transient (Hermit) on May 13, 2005 at 21:51 UTC
    Perl gave me the power of Bleach
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by delegatrix (Scribe) on May 16, 2005 at 14:37 UTC
    I met my husband at YAPC99. Got a perl engagement ring (natch) right after TPC6.
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by mda2 (Hermit) on May 15, 2005 at 23:02 UTC
    Some years ago I learned Perl, it´s great for my work!
    Immediatly started to share my knowledge and learn much more with it!

    Invited to work in a new enterprise in Rio de Janeiro (founded on Perl Lists!!). I love my home City Curitiba... see a Brazilian map.

    Some months ago I initiated physical presence on social meetings on Rio-PM, and invited todo lider tasks to share my personal experiences...

    Perl give me new life stage, again!

    Sorry my bad english... I speak Portuguese... and Perl

    Marco Antonio

Re: How has Perl helped you?
by bageler (Hermit) on May 15, 2005 at 00:27 UTC
    Perl has made me richer in many ways. Five jobs, my own company and equity in some side projects for which I used perl. It's given me a domain that I do well in, earning me respect from others and myself. It's a hobby, and I've spent countless hours just doodling with code for the fun of it! Sometimes I go and look at other languages, like java, lisp, obj-c, and others, but I always come home to perl. To me, every problem looks like two things that need to be stuck together, and the duct tape that is perl is always the right tool. Yes, even love poetry.
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by blackadder (Hermit) on May 18, 2005 at 15:10 UTC
    Well, this is not a sob story but I am still abiding my time waiting for all those wonderful things to happen to me too!

    ...But I think I will be waiting for a long time….

    In England it seems that if you are a Perl programmer in MS-Windows world or most of your experiences was in Windows environment, then you’d have a snow balls chance in hell of getting a Perl programming Job - you may get a technical support role with a proactive scripting requirements- but never as a Perl programmer. There is absolutely no chance in that here. I have applied and applied to countless of Perl development position, to only to be told that I do not fit the requirements. In fact I was out of work for almost 9 months because I was looking for only Perl related positions, plus being a recent dad with a six month old baby daughter did not make things easy for me, I was sleepless and constantly under stress.

    Thinking back, maybe I should’ve learnt VB or Java instead, and maybe I could’ve kept my mortgage, home and daughter. I really never thought I needed to learn anything but Perl because I can almost achieve anything that anyone can challenge with in Perl! So much so, that some of my Perl tools have been described as pure magic by people who used them. I though the magic will never cease. I guess all this gone to my head and gave a false sense of confidance. Now, I find myself in an IT sales position….and feeling totally miserable and unsatisfied. Working with egoistic fat tossers who know nothing but how to spin big words…

    But hey, this is not a fault with wanting to learning Perl only, we all know that life is a general.

      Hi blackadder,

      Perhaps you can start something on the sideline while you've having that IT sales job. The Internet does level the playing field, though that doesn't imply it's a pot of gold free for all.

      Perhaps you can create a solution that solves some problem for which no solutions yet exist. Or perhaps existing solutions suck and maybe you can create something that works at a cheaper price.

      On the sideline, that is.

Re: How has Perl helped you?
by Anonymous Monk on May 14, 2005 at 13:24 UTC
    Perl helped me find an identity
      but no PM account ;-)

      holli, /regexed monk/
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by ambrus (Abbot) on May 15, 2005 at 12:18 UTC

    Most importantly, perl has brought me here.

Re: How has Perl helped you?
by webfiend (Vicar) on May 17, 2005 at 19:35 UTC

    To put it simply, Perl revived my interest in programming, after my brain had been hammered beyond recognition by C and C++ code (all of which I've blissfully forgotten since).

    On the more pragmatic side, Perl routinely pays my rent, buys my food, and helps me spoil my fiancee with various luxuries. Sometimes I wonder what I can do to return the favor.

Re: How has Perl helped you?
by Anonymous Monk on May 15, 2005 at 00:35 UTC
    Perl has helped me get things done, at least in my sysadmin days. I finally switched to being a real programmer but never explicitly perl. But I always use perl to get the core of the work done, especially data centric stuff.

    I just wish I could get a pure perl job......Seems like lots of people do perl, but I can't seem to find those gigs. I would love to just do perl/cgi type programming.

Re: How has Perl helped you?
by displeaser (Hermit) on May 17, 2005 at 07:54 UTC
    I'm a Win32 Admin so Perl has really helped me cut down on all those irratatingly long winded tasks that are so convoluted to do with batch files. Perl Automation and PM are the 2 things Perls given me over the last year+
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by wolfger (Deacon) on May 18, 2005 at 12:50 UTC

    Perl is helping me change careers. Because it is so easy for me to rapidly develop worthwhile applications in Perl, I was able to basically crank out something my boss wanted in my spare time, and thereby show him that I have programming skill, as well as desire. Programming professionally is so hard to do these days without experience, or at least a degree.... I owe my future profession to Perl.

    Linux, sci-fi, and Nat Torkington, all at Penguicon 3.0
    perl -e 'print(map(chr,(0x4a,0x41,0x50,0x48,0xa)))'
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by Mago (Parson) on May 18, 2005 at 13:59 UTC
    Perl is my live !

    I have to thank for my job, the company I work for, the friends of mine and several activities that I develop to help people on solving their problems.

    I get Perl, I have job ...
    I get Perl, I have company ...
    I get Perl, I have money ...
    I get Perl, I have friends ...
    I get Perl, I have girls ...
    I get Perl, I have much sex ...
    I get Perl, I have POWER !!!

    Thanks to Perl.


      With Perl I got:

         Virtual girls;
         Virtual Sex;
         Virtual friends;
         and my tan :p
Re: How has Perl helped you?
by arc_of_descent (Hermit) on May 19, 2005 at 12:43 UTC

    There's more than one way to do it!

    Perl (meaning the language, community and others) has taught me this. I feel we can apply this phrase to many other aspects of life other than Perl.

    Due to my abilities in coding and understanding Perl, I gained enough confidence to quit my day job and do my own stuff. I really had to go through a lot of crap from family and friends when I did this. And seriously enough, my abilities in Perl was there among my top 5 reasons to go ahead with this spontaneous decision (yes, it was spontaneous!)


      Hi arc_of_descent,

      Sounds a lot like my situation :)

      That's the beauty of Perl, I guess. Knowing just what you need to know does give you the confidence to do things. Well I suppose it's a lot to do with it's being like language. After a while you find that you can literally conjure up code in your head.

Re: How has Perl helped you?
by Tosco (Novice) on Apr 30, 2007 at 07:34 UTC
    Perl gave me the power of regex !