Coding in Perl

G

googler

Hello Perl users,

Although I love coding in Perl, I do not get much chance to use the
language often. I first used it five years ago and over these years I
had to use it very rarely, and now again I am using it for the last
few days. So as you can understand, my level of expertise has always
been between beginner and intermediate. I learn stuff and use it, then
it goes off my mind as I don't get any chance to code in Perl, and
then after several months when I have to use it again, I have to go
over the same stuff that I had learnt earlier.

Almost all the work I have done in Perl so far is text processing and
similar utilities, and I am not really interested in other
applications of the language (like web development for example). I
find coding in Perl very enjoyable and stimulating for the mind and
love the philosophy of "there is more than one way to do it" and
"making simple things simple and harder things possible". I would love
to use it more, but with the kind of work I do, I don't get the chance
to code in Perl all the time.

I have a few questions if anyone feels like answering them..
1. Is there a way I can improve my Perl expertise? I know the answer
is to write more programs (scripts), but since I don't get a lot of
chance to code in Perl, how do I go about it?
2. How much of Perl coding do you guys do? How much experience do you
have in Perl?
3. What aspect of coding in Perl do you like most?

Any thoughts or inputs are welcome. Thank you.
 
M

Michele Dondi

I have a few questions if anyone feels like answering them..
1. Is there a way I can improve my Perl expertise? I know the answer
is to write more programs (scripts), but since I don't get a lot of
chance to code in Perl, how do I go about it?

Well, find out something that will "force" you to write more Perl
or something said:
2. How much of Perl coding do you guys do? How much experience do you
have in Perl?

Depends on the period. I would rate my experience as average...
3. What aspect of coding in Perl do you like most?

The instant in which the last syntax error goes away. And then the
first runtime one springs to life, D'oh! ;-)


Michele
 
T

Ted Zlatanov

g> 1. Is there a way I can improve my Perl expertise? I know the answer
g> is to write more programs (scripts), but since I don't get a lot of
g> chance to code in Perl, how do I go about it?

Perl is just a tool; to get better at programming Perl you should get
better at programming in general. If you don't understand algorithmic
complexity or graph traversal or binary trees or databases, for example,
you will not solve problems that require that knowledge well in Perl or
in any other language.

Assuming you know programming well, to get better at Perl in particular
you should scratch an itch. Find something that interests you and solve
it in Perl (if it's been done already, compare your effort to the
existing work). Then ask a Perl expert to critique your code (this
newsgroup can do it too) and learn from the experience.

g> 2. How much of Perl coding do you guys do? How much experience do you
g> have in Perl?

I do Perl coding whenever it makes sense for the task. I've been using
Perl since 1994 but didn't start using it heavily until 1997 or so.

g> 3. What aspect of coding in Perl do you like most?

The laziness. I love writing simple, clean code with as few bugs as
possible. This is why I like Lisp and Ruby as well, and am not too fond
of Javascript, C++, or Java for example.

Ted
 
M

Michele Dondi

Oh crap, then I need to seriously reassess my own experience level...

Well, that's just what's fair. I've been playing with Perl for years,
but even staying more or less within the realms of the language
proper, there are areas of it with which I'm familiar and even
proficient while there are others I hardly know: just take into
account e.g. OO intricacies and other delicate stuff, like features
recently introduced that I did never really delve into e.g. attributes
etc. But when we come to applications it's even more so: I mostly do
simple text transformations and system-utility like stuff... OTOH at
work I had to deal with databases and with the help of coworkers I
managed to do so... but never really "got into it" and I wouldn't know
where to start should I do that again now. (Not true: I would know
*where* to start, but it would be the *very* start, and of a steep
road.) Similarly when people post here discussions about managing
sockets I tend to save their articles because I always think: one day
I must become a guru with this kinda stuff; but always fail to do
so... since I've not to deal with it for personal interests and...
well you don't put into practice those things you learnt.


Michele
 

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