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

yaron at kahanovitch.com yaron at kahanovitch.com
Thu Mar 8 06:04:05 PST 2007

Hi All,

First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Yaron and I work as an algorithm developer for medium size Israeli company, Orbotech.

 Let me start with a short introduction:

I work in a project that utilize technology from old project that was developed in Tcl. At this point, I must say that our expirience is that tcl turned to be a bad language to develop large scale projects. As a consequence, our management decided not to use tcl, and instead switch to C++. The team developed the Tcl project very fast, but the maintenance of such a project turned to be a nightmare. Dynamic language offer many powerful tools. IMproper  use of such tools end up with hard-to-maintain monster product.
As I said, The current project is manly developed in C++. Three years ago I got to the conclusion that we can ease the project development by using Perl. I started to learn Perl, and after some month I developed one of our application modules in Perl.
It took me less than half of the time to do it. There are many reasons for that, but in general, I can say that the supporting Perl community help me a lot, and ready-to-use powerful tolls are the main reasons for that success.
Few month ago I meat my product manager and offer him to extend the use of perl. I tried to sell Perl to him and he was impressed. 

And now I will get to our point:
after some discussions we got to the following conclusion.
1. Perl is a reach powerful language. 
2. If you don't want to end up with a hard-to-maintain product and you want to speedup the development with perl you need a  very experienced developers. 
3. C++ and Java does not require well exprienced developers. You can manage a large scale projects with c++ or Java with less experienced developers. There are some reasons for that: As a compiled language, C++ protect us from run time errors. Secondly, Developers that come from the academy experienced those languages during their study.
4.  The simplicity of C, C++ (and java) makes unexpirienced developer to an experienced developer with a minimum risk.

So we decided to limit the use of perl to specific 

To conclude, we, the perl hasidim find ourself in infinite loop:
1. almost all of the developers choose c, C++ or java as their first programing language.
2. Almost all of the projects involves non experienced developers and therefor almost all of the projects are developed in those languages.
3. If there are no  large scale perl projects, there is no incentive to learn perl.So..
back to 1.-->

So, to promote this discussion I think that we should ask ourself how to sell perl, instead of asking "Is there a lack of (good) Perl programmers?"

Yoaron Kahanovitch

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