[tpm] Perl as a career

Adam Prime adam.prime at utoronto.ca
Sat Mar 7 09:56:41 PST 2009

Antonio Sun wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> I'm new to TPM, and would like to hear your opinion on Perl's future from
> the career prospective. It can be considered as to further the "great
> debate" about whether IT can be recommended as a profession to the next
> generation,
> http://techrepublic.com.com/http://techrepublic.com.com/5206-13416-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=234089&start=0

Your language of preference does not need to define your career, unless 
you want it to.  Good programmers are always going to be in demand. 
That said, i have let it define mine, and I'm not worried about that choice.

> To me, Perl is the most powerful language, however, career-wise, I see most
> Perl jobs are maintaining web applications, whereas Perl lost its
> competitive edge over Php & Java.

There are plenty of companies doing new web development on perl, though 
yes, there are probably more web dev jobs in PHP or Java.  That isn't 
something that is going to change in the near future.  It is possible 
that it could be changed by perl 6, but that change is probably a long 
time coming yet, if it's coming at all.

> I personally think,
> - Though powerful, Perl has always been a "Cinderella", and will continue
>   being so, with no "Princess" come along to rescue in the future.
> - Perl's role for building web applications will fade out as time goes on.
> What do you think?
> I'm new here, so my observation might not be correct.
> What do you think the percentage would be (web maintaining to all Perl jobs)?
> What industry are you in, what type of Perl programming do you do?
> What do you think the future (career-wise) of type of work you do?
> If you lost your current job, how much likely you can get a similar job?

I don't think that perl is going to fade out for web development in the 
next 10 years at least.  If anything, developing websites with perl has 
been getting easier, which has been bringing people back into that 
realm.  I have been doing web development with perl for about 10 years, 
the bulk of that using mod_perl/apache, my current employer is in the 
forex industry and employs probably a dozen people that are primarily 
programming in perl, and we're still looking for more of them.  If I 
lost my current job I have no doubt that I'd find a similar job fairly 


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