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Re: [tlug] perl? (was: Employment for "oldies")

Just my two $yen ;-)

I started learning Perl many years ago (17?), learning "How to make
dynamic web sites", LoL
It sat on top of BASIC, Pascal (Turbo/Borland), C, VisualBasic, Java, ...
It gave me the power to make those machines work for me and do what I
need to crunch any data, it was something great of a feeling.
Somewhere deep in the back of my mind, in var without references, I
remember having written a love letter in Perl...
And "Learning Perl" is still one of the best programming books out there.
These days I write mostly Perl "one-liners", sometimes slightly longer
systems, often interspersed with Makefiles, gnuplot and of course bash
While the big Unicode mess, not exactly Perl's fault, made me learn
and fix a few (public) packages, my skills have only improved and my
code still runs after those years.

I often read python (Gentoo and some forensics packages), C (mostly
embedded stuff or some borked lib under debug) and occasional Ruby hmm
I often curse python devs for breaking compatibility (sometimes have
to deal with archaic code-base) and Ruby - looks like I am slightly
allergic to it, so I try to stay away (I mean not like Windoze or

I think that computer languages are very close to human ones, except
that there are many humans with zero-(computer)languages, but almost
everybody has (at least one) mother-tongue, so the usual off-by-one
programming error is here as well.
If one is born in a small country, with a "specific" language, s/he
has the choice or sometimes necessity to learn other languages; this
is hard, often invigorating, life-changing or life-threatening
If one is born in a "big" country, often-times there is no real _need_
to try to learn foreign languages; so often such experience is

If someone claiming to be "IT", comes to me and cannot just sit down
and program in anything (Excel comes to mind, still something!) - its
like being illiterate, no matter how well s/he can click on icons or
make presentations, or even solve people's problems.
If someone claiming to be a "dev" comes to me and cannot use at least
two different (say C and Perl) programming languages, clearly stating
what/why is one better than the other - it is like someone who has
seen only one side of the coin.

Many years ago I was kind of "forced" to have a phone interview with
some Micro$oft recruiter... I was trying to be polite, explaining that
I don't think this job is for me, I just feel some stress that I know
I can avoid. But it looked he was offended, most probably because it
was a well paid job,  twice my salary at the time (and he knew that),
so he kept on trying to persuade me. Yes a really funny situation!
Somehow we got to examples with food and he asked: "So are you trying
to say that the Chinese food is worse than the French food?" "Nope", I
replied, "but people who like Chinese food go to a Chinese restaurant,
those who like French - go to a French restaurant and there are many
who do both. But those who hate one or the other, do NOT go to that
restaurant, that simple. Now why are you thinking you can persuade me
to work for you?".

So, focus on, like and love and spread the language(s) you like and
try to minimise the negative emotions (there are many "restaurants",
remember?). If you do what you like, chances are you'll stay busy
enough to be away from what you don't.


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