My Story With Perl

When I was In college, I am not interested in programming language at all. At that time, I devoted almost all of my time to English study and math thinking. I thought learning computer science was silly, because if you know how to do something(or compute something) in your own language, why do you bother to do it in computer’s language?

With this thought in my mind, you can guess I did not study computer science very well, although I have to take many courses in CS. I did not fail any one of the courses I took but also not proficient in any of them.

When I was about to graduate from college, I had to find a job. I was interested in foreign trade then and hoped I could use my English skill and further my interest in economics and business. I did get jobs in this area but when a job oppotunity concerning database with the job title ‘database production analyst’ got landed by me, I gave up my dream of becoming a business man and became a database production analyst, because the latter one offers a more huge salary and better working environment, and that was in year 2011 then, before July.

I spent the first year of working career not knowing what to do. I was not interested in SQL programming at all, and my job then did not require too much programming skill on SQL. My team leader then is one who is very proficent in SQL Server and T-SQL programming, maybe because of him, I did not further my pursue in SQL programming.

But I had to learn something then, I thought command line tools very cool, so I spent a lot of time reading other people’s code in the production environment. In order to learn how a web site is built and how to use PHP and javascript, I also joined a team in the company whose aim was to develop an internal management system, my role there was testing, but I did not think I have ever offered any help to the team and the project. Later on when the internal management system was almost finished, my name was also mentioned in the to be appreciated list. I feel quite ashamed.

So based on the above, you can see I did not get a lot in my first year regarding programming language, but I did begin to make my own choice of what I wanted to learn.

As to my encounter with Perl, I knew the language of Perl in late 2011. I used to spend a lot of time on it when I was in the first company I joined, since that company uses a lot of Perl to do system administratiion. The problem is I have not used perl to write any useful scripts, although I have crafted some small snipptes.

I always think Perl is not a beautiful language. I know something about Python also, and think Python is more readable than Perl. I have bought and read several books on Python, I have studied some of Python’s advanced usages. I have delved into Django, Flask and Tornado, the three very famous Python web framework.

Also, I have spent quite a while to learn Ruby and Rails. I used to think maybe I should find a job in using ruby because I have read a book on ruby written by its maker Mats then. I found ruby to be very easy and interesting then. I spent several weeks learning ruby and another several week on Rails to learn how to build a web site.

And currently I am using PHP to write some internal tools for my team. I have to confess I have spent many hours on how to build the environment for PHP and Apache. I read books and watched videos on PHP. PHP is the second language I used besides bash that got deployed to production environment. As to PHP, I want to thank this language because it is easy to use and guided me to the programming world. I get to know a lot of programming concepts through using PHP. Most of the codes I wrote was in PHP.

When I wanted to join the currnet company, I applied for the job position of becoming a Perl developer. I read the job description and I thought then that I can take this job. But after interviewing with my manager, he thought I was a rookie and I surely was a rookie. So I did not landed the job of becoming a Perl developer but became an analyst again, also reporting to the same manager who interviewed me on Perl developer.

For all these accountings, I have no idea why deep down in my heart I want to write something useful in Perl. Maybe because it is hard, maybe because I believe yes I can.

I want to use this opportunity to further my understanding of Perl. I choose the book “Intermediate Perl” here, and want to translate it into Chinese and expand some of the topics diccussed in that book and write something about them in this blog. I choose this book, because it is the first book on Perl that I bought. I did not buy learning Perl first because I thought I can grasp the basic of Perl just by reading the ebook and there is no need to buy the elementary one. The fact is I bought “learning Perl” several months later. I read “Intermediate Perl” several times, but I can not claim that I can understand it all, actually if I grasp the contents in that book, now it will not be necessary for me to write this post any more.

It is very nice to meet someone who is very proficient in Perl. But what is to be noted is, you can learn from someone, but do not count on someone to help teach you, they do not have the obligations to do that.

That is it, let us embark on a new journey!