[Israel.pm] Is there a lack of (good) Perl programmers?

Gabor Szabo szabgab at gmail.com
Fri Mar 2 11:17:25 PST 2007

On 2/28/07, Amir E. Aharoni <amir.aharoni at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I personally hardly know any companies where Perl is used for large
> > things but even
> > some of those want to switch. Partially because they don't find good Perl
> > programmers.

> However i am curious about the "want to switch" part.
> Are there companies that want to switch from Java / C++ / .NET to
> Perl? You don't have to name names if it's a secret, but can you
> describe their considerations? Why are they considering switching?

Then I was not clear. I know companies currently using Perl what want to
stop using Perl. I don't know their exact reasons but I would really like
to understand it better.

One of the reasons I often hear either in cases like above or when a
project manager considers which languages to use is that
"it is difficult to find perl programmers".

Sometimes they say "good perl programmers".

> Also, what do you mean by *good* Perl programmers?
I don't have a good definition of *good* but knowing and using
several CPAN modules is a clue.
Knowing OOP is another clue.
Using strict and warnings (or at least -w) is yet another clue thought I am
sure someone will start arguing against it.
There are many other such "clues".

Creating such a list might be an interesting exercise but it is not the point
of my issue.

Regarding what Guy wrote finding non-perl programmers and teaching them
Perl - that would be great, more work for me :-) - but as far as I can tell most
companies prefer to get the programming knowledge with the programmer.
One less thing they need to invest in. Besides, I think that except of
the really
top programmers, for most Java or C programmer it would take a few months
to be effective in Perl. Just like for me it would take months to be reasonably
good in Java or C#.

So in fact even if a good Perl programmer can produce application
3-4 times faster than a good Java programmer taking into account a
learning period of (let's say) 3-6 months you might start to see the
advantages only after 6-9 months. (with my totally mad up numbers)
In most cases this is way too long to be in delay.

Besides, and here is my issue, how many Java or .NET programmer will
be happy to learn Perl for a project? I think very few. The reason might
be that Perl does not have high profile or that there are not many Perl
jobs out there they can use their knowledge in or maybe other reasons.

So I wonder what could be done by us and maybe by the companies
to change this situation?


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