APM: Question about learning Perl

Mark Voltz mark.voltz at gmail.com
Fri Dec 6 14:01:46 PST 2013

Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful (and gentle) responses!
Jeffrey's "Find a project or something you want to do" is particularly
poignant since a specific project would likely be motivational above
and beyond just wanting to know something in a general sense.  I
sometimes get bogged down like that.  Jack, I appreciate your story
too and didn't know DDG was a Perl product.


On Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 3:04 PM, Jack Lupton <jacklupton at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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
> Perl.
> 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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