[tpm] Perl as a career

Abram Hindle abram.hindle at softwareprocess.us
Sat Mar 7 10:29:21 PST 2009

Current jobs stats indicates that the Perl Market is worth all of the
python and ruby market. PHP is its own beast but it is not as popular as
you might perceive.


The fact is that as unglamorous as it sounds, Perl is a infrastructure
language. The weight of ``legacy'' code is so heavy that Perl is not
going away. SE Researchers studying maintenance have suggested that the
maintenance part of a life cycle in software takes 80% or more of the
resources (including time) than any other part of the software's life cycle.

If you look on craiglist or twitter you'll see perl job announcements.
Full time jobs are being offered in the US even post-crash. Perl is a
pretty safe skill to have and it simply isn't going away.

What has died is a lot of its hype, but even so Perl is ahead of PHP. I
suspect this is because people write just about any kind of software in
perl and but they write webapps in PHP.


Perl related news is often found on perl related sites. Fickle sites
like programming.reddit.com make trends look like the norm but it is not
the case. Not everyone is making a stack based language compiler using
llvm bindings in haskell. Sorry it just isn't as common as reddit would
like to believe.

Be careful what you believe, local perception is not always a reflection
of a global trend.


Ilia wrote:
> On Sat, Mar 7, 2009 at 12:35 PM, Antonio Sun <antoniosun at lavabit.com> 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
>> 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.
>> 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)?
> maybe 50:50
>> What industry are you in, what type of Perl programming do you do?
> currently my full time job is in Telecom. We use Perl to maintain a
> legacy LAMP web application and we also use Perl for the backend with
> some socket programming. I've also used Perl for a new project to
> create a json-rpc server.
>> What do you think the future (career-wise) of type of work you do?
> bleak.
>> If you lost your current job, how much likely you can get a similar job?
> probably likely but I would be looking for a Python gig.

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