APM: Question about learning Perl

Jack Lupton jacklupton at gmail.com
Fri Dec 6 13:04:46 PST 2013

I don't know why I presume to advise on this, but here I go. I graduated at
the age of 47, from a 10 month client/server program at a technical school.
There was nothing specific to Perl. I began my love of Linux while there
because the c courses were taught on unix servers. I got a dual boot system
going on with Windows 98 and Redhat 5.1. I got a job with an ISP because
other graduates of the same technical school worked there. We used Perl for
CGI scripts to do a lot of things. The transition from a construction
career to a programming career was more difficult than I could have
imagined. I've never worked around a more gossipy, back stabbing group of
people. But I did learn a lot, and I did stick with Perl, Linux, and any
database I could use. I was hired on by a staffing company as an employee
of record. In that capacity I used Perl to do image manipulation in
Sterling, VA, to do XML in Jersey City, NJ, to work with very large
data-sets in Chicago, and eventually web reports from a MySQL database in
Austin. Fantastic experiences with fantastic people. I then hit a lull
because I didn't want to leave Austin to return to the next job with that
staffing company in New Jersey. So, back to wood butchery in 2001.

I had the O'reilly Perl Bookshelf on CD during that time. It was great.
Since then, I've bought just about every Perl book I could. Best Practices,
Perl Hacks, Learning Perl and Intermediate Perl are my favorites. Whatever
books you choose, do the exercises, work the tutorials, and take the tests.
oDesk has tests. There is a multiple choice test that is pretty easy and
another writting 10 programs that is a bear. Less than a third pass it.
Brainbench tests are okay. I know a lot of people scorn these tests, but
they do help find weaknesses to work on. There are lots and lots of
exercises available if one searches DuckDuckGo, a search engine built with

Join perlmonks.com and pay attention. The Perl Weekly is fantastic.

On Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 1:52 PM, Mark Voltz <mark.voltz at gmail.com> wrote:

> I hope this is an appropriate question for this group.
> At some point in your life you didn't know Perl (that's my assumption
> anyway).  What book/class/mentor... helped get you from beginner to
> wherever you are now?
> Was it a mixture of multiple influences?  Is there an indispensable Perl
> book that you all have on your shelves?
> I'm curious because I'd like to learn more Perl but I've got serious
> limitations on my time.  I don't want to shortcut the learning journey but
> I really don't want to pick up just any old book that may lead me down the
> wrong path.
> I guess I'd also like to know if there are materials to avoid as well.
> Thanks!
> Mark
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> Austin at pm.org
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