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Learning Perl worth the Investment?

siva kumar
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 02, 2004
Posts: 120
Hi All,

I took a couple of years break from IT Industry, I am planning to go back, my earlier work was mostly in quality management, data processing and other related stuffs, I was mainly managing Perl based utilities, mostly in support and management roles,

I want to get back to industry, should I stick with Perl, or as some suggest need to work on Java/J2EE skills

Please advice

1.) Is perl still the duct-tape of Web based projects

2.) Are Perl programmers still sought after in Industry

3.) Does Unix server management still runs in Perl

4.) Does Data munging still done in Perl
Pat Farrell

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659

These days, I think PHP has replaced perl as the duct-tape of the web. Its more approachable -- and a lot less powerful.

2) I think the demand is lower than it was, but it was never all that widespread. Perl has always been a special language, and using it will requires that you be smarter than the average bear.

3) yes, for lots, a bunch is in bash scripts, and some other cat and dog languages are used. But most of the time, it doesn't matter. You use the tools, not writing them.

4) I see lots of munging of logs and similar stuff being done in perl, but for lots of other stuff, it gets loaded into your favorite dbms package, so reporting can be done by dumber than average bear folks.

IMHO, stay as far away from J2EE as you can. Of course, J2EE was so bad that they changed its name to JEE hoping that no one would remember how badly J2EE smelled.

There will be large scale web applications developed in Java for a decade or more, but its not the hot area anymore. The hot stuff is embedded and mobile.

I'd recommend getting a cheap Android device and doing some development there. One uses Java to program Android, altho for legal and assorted reasons, they call it Dalvik
ibrahim yener
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 22, 2013
Posts: 186

I don't think Perl is using so wide as before.
As Siva said PHP was replaced for it. Php has a lot of job opportunities
However, i must clear some point here.

Php widely using for now and as you can imagine there are a lof of php programmer arround and it makes programming salary less.
While perl is not. It might be hard to find a job for perl but if you find there is chance to have a little higher salary than php programmers.

My Google play account
siva kumar
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 02, 2004
Posts: 120

Thanks for the comments, I floated my CV and found exactly as Ibharim, Perl programmers are not much available, therefore most HR are quite willing to take you on board quickly on good package, they don't care about break in employment

I recently joined a company as Perl programmer my finding are

The interview process is quite tough, even few CIO and CEO's are Perl programmers in past, thus at managerial level the interview is technical, besides the work load is quite heavy. as you happen to be the only person available and need to perform both development and support activities, but you are quite a buddy with higher management, besides they provide you flexible work hours as they think Perl is a niche skill

Perl still rocks....

Rolf Hemmerling

Joined: Apr 28, 2013
Posts: 1


there are "millions" of ordinary PHP web developers out, but just "thousands" of very-good Perl programmers.
So if you are an "ordinary" programmer, with little experience and skills, maybe fresh from highschool, college / university, you MIGHT get a badly paid web designer job if you can do the "job" ( creating a website application,.. ) with PHP,
and become better-paid expert after some years,
but you won´t get one of the few jobs for "urgendly wanted" Perl programmers.
There are no learning-curve jobs for Perl programmers.

Python is an in-between,
on one hand, Python had a little community as Perl,
you might to the same with Python than with Perl,
but in the last 2 years, Python was #1 as first programming language at US unversities and especially free MOOC online courses ( I passed such a free course at Coursera, it was GREAT ).
The number of website projects is VERY limited,
but there is a life in the ( German ) automotive industry as test and script language for HIL systems - so the #1 language to communciate with CAN-bus drivers on a Windows PC.
And on Raspberry Pi microcontrollers with Linux, it is the #1.
There are no learning-curve jobs for Python programmers, if there are any at all.

Java and C# are standards, on its own business fields.

Now the message:
The whole Perl education changed in the last 2 years, with the movement of "Modern Perl" and true object oriented Perl, especially the rising of object oriented programming based on the MOOSE and MOO modules

Please go to this website
I met the owner personally, he is a true Perl expert from my town.
So just read the books and tutorials he recomends, as these teach NEW STYLE of "Modern Perl".

Among his recommendations there is one to-be-paid-book

Beginning Perl
by Curtis Poe

- you might even read that for free at :-) -,
but the rest of the recommended documents is free,

especially the PDF book

Modern Perl

See details about Perl on my link webpage

Btw, I concentrate on Python, but have a look at Perl too.
Though I am such an "ordinary" guy too, with little true work experience in programming. But I don´t wanna go into competition with "millons" of ordinary PHP guys...


SCADA Expertness - Quality Intensification for IT + Automation
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11955

IMHO...don't try to be 'perl programmer'. Try to be a programmer - and if you know perl, so much the better. Any time you try and define yourself as a "one-language programmer", you limit your opportunities.

I porgram. I use Java, Perl, tcl, and shell every day. I know (or at least I think i know, when to use each. And that is what really matters.

There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Pat Farrell

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659

I bet Fred meant that he programs. I write 95% or more of my code in Java/JSP/html. I write a little bit of bash programming, but as soon as the bash programming gets longer than about 5 lines, I reprogram it to perl.
I agree. Here's the link:
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