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No experience required...

by Anonymous Monk
on May 07, 2001 at 18:22 UTC ( #78503=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Anonymous Monk has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I have a bit of a problem ahead of me. I am a relatively new UNIX admin with a background in networking and hardware. I have no programming experience, and have very quickly realized the need to be able to read and write at least very basic Perl scripts. I have been asked to take some existing Korn Shell system monitoring scripts that were written by an old admin that has moved on to bigger and better things, and streamlime them and possibly rewrite them in Perl. So here begins my real question. What path would the masters recommend to save a poor soul like me. Are there any definitive books and/or courses online that you would recommend to get me pointed in the right direction?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: No experience required...
by Albannach (Monsignor) on May 07, 2001 at 18:41 UTC
    Please browse through our book reviews here, but I think the definitive book has got to be Programming Perl.

    For your needs you may well find that much of what you want to do has been covered here at the Monastery, so I'd encourage you to make use of Categorized Questions and Answers and SuperSearch. If you have a question you can't figure out on your own, follow these guidelines and you'll likely find many helpful souls here. Welcome to Perl!

    Update: Stuffy is correct that Programming Perl probably isn't for the complete novice, but I do consider it definitive, and it is certainly the second book you should buy, if perhaps not the first.

    I'd like to be able to assign to an luser

      As a newbie myself, I think Programming Perl is a little much to start with, as suggested to me in th CB, learning perl might be a better start


Re: No experience required...
by suaveant (Parson) on May 07, 2001 at 18:35 UTC
    Learning Perl by O'Reilly and Associates... great place to start.
                    - Ant
Re: No experience required...
by footpad (Abbot) on May 07, 2001 at 19:10 UTC

    In addition to the other suggestions, you may find Perl for System Administration helpful, though if you're going to buy it, please do so from this link, as it helps keep a candle or two lit.


Re: No experience required...
by lhoward (Vicar) on May 07, 2001 at 19:09 UTC
    You may want to check out Perl for System Administration. This book is not targeted at beginners, but it focuses on just the kind of work that you will probably be using Perl for.
Re: No experience required...
by jepri (Parson) on May 07, 2001 at 18:50 UTC
    In addition to getting the book, get out on the web and get download other peoples monitoring programs. Go through them and pull out the bits you like. Perl is often used for monitoring things because it is quite easy to grab the output of a program and extract the useful information - when you know how.

    Good luck and I recommend against trying to program in shell script - that was my first programming job and I'm glad it's over!

    I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

Re: No experience required...
by delegatrix (Scribe) on May 07, 2001 at 21:38 UTC
    "Elements of Programming Perl" is written for people new to programming. I like "The Perl Cookbook" for code snippets but it's better once you have a familiarity with perl and programming.
Re: No experience required...
by coreolyn (Parson) on May 07, 2001 at 22:13 UTC

    IMHO your lack of expirience will actually make Perl and easier language to learn. (It's not as as arcane if you've never done it another way.) I feel the best 'begginners' book is Elements of Programming with Perl, and don't forget to take advantage of Perlmonks Tutorials!

Re: No experience required...
by line_noise (Sexton) on May 07, 2001 at 22:53 UTC
    If your're going to be porting from korn shell, you'll need
    the O'Reilly book Learning the Korn Shell. It claims to
    be a nutshell handbook, but it'll have everything you need
    to understand the old scripts. Ksh scripscan get a little
    obscure if you're not familiar with them, and online resources
    for ksh scripting are not nearly as good as the ones for Perl.
Re: No experience required...
by SageMusings (Beadle) on May 07, 2001 at 21:09 UTC
    While I agree Perl is perfect for sysadmin applications and is more powerful than shell, I am concerned about your experience. I have a couple of languages under my belt and I have a difficult time imagining what it would have been like for me if Perl had been my first language. Let's face it. Perl can be intimidating. It is dense with arcane punctuation and there are about 3 ways to code every statement. Of course, this is also plus in my book, freedom and conciseness.

    "Teach yourself Perl in 21 days" published by Sams is a lightweight approach which assumes you do not necessarily understand programming. I used it for a gentle introduction, myself. Be warned, however, there is much missing in the book. You will need to expand your library quickly. Still, it's a good place to begin.

    I hope this helps you.
Re: No experience required...
by TGI (Parson) on May 07, 2001 at 21:42 UTC

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