On my technical Background - a beginner's story

Different people have come to an interest or develop a skill for different reasons. Nowadays, lots people are learning Python, R, JavaScript, Java, etc. for job hunting as data scientists or software engineers...

Beginner's Enthusiasm in Programming

For me, solitaires (games) always attract me. Programming has been felt like a solitaire . (Some people must disagree with me on this line. They are lucky. And I also want myself can grow as strong as a contributor to the opensource programming community.) Testing. Possible modifications. I learnt LOGO programming language in the primary school. As I can remember, while I was in junior high school, I lost my sleep one night just because of thinking using LOGO to write a Chinese Chess program! (The workload would be too much... LOGO is derived from LISP, I know. Ha.)

I met Perl in 2006, while I was an unnoticed junior high schooler and had no support on my interest. Due to a sense of unorthodoxness, and, at that time, Python was not as hot as it has been now, I borrowed a book on Perl and had a little bit appreciation on this programming language... I thought of writing a program on Othello(aka "Reversi", but "Othello" is commercially copyrighted)... However, I had no support on computing at that time. I programmed "Hello World" and nothing else. Two years later, I had to be familiar with Pascal as it was the standard language in local public exam; in addition, it is one of the standard languages for local competitive programming. (Besides handling the infamous heavy loading of academic study for adolescents in East Asia, I was VERY into those competitive math/programming/Physics Olympiad.) Of couse I knew that Pascal had been already excluded in practical business. After 3-years relationship with Pascal, coincidentally I have to get into the university , I digged into my major physics and its close friend math, and abandoned programming.

I came back to programming because of a practical reason: career, initially. (I had thought of becoming a research scientist; however my plans were naive... ... This is a long and twisted story with self-loath and will be bored you all.) But programming (especially on Perl?) becomes one of my hobbies now.

After Participation in Perl Weekly Challenge

Now, the story should be back to Perl but not me. Perl has received some negative opinions from some modern programmers. (Partly caused by the popularity of Python, I guess; but I did not know Python - just stop discussion now.)(Maybe I look the Python codes submitted by PWC members later.) I am still wondering whether it is worthwhile to learn Perl for some extent. What I know is that it is still actively used by some bioinformatics and astronomy research communities. I am neither a person who has strong critical-thinking opinion nor a futurologist. Just keep peek on https://www.tiobe.com/tiobe-index/ ... Anyway I haven't found what disgusts me in Perl yet. Maybe just as Larry Wall written on the book "Games, Diversions & Perl Culture", Perl is originated from "Computer Science", "Common Sense", "Art" and his major "Linguistics". As a loosely connected person, I always appreciate Art, often surprised by different versions of common sense of other humans and curious about computer science both theoretically and practically. End of a sharing of an idea now.

When I was actively learning C++ last year ( a paid online course episode is joined, but I could not finish it), I knew I need some knowledge in a system scripting language to boost generating test data sets or time checking.

* * * * * *

I thought I met Perl Weekly Challenge for the question at-least-5-distinct-digits-square-number, while randomly surfed on Internet and found that task on Damian Conway's blog on blogs.perl.org (where I am freely using, woo). After some months, I could not stop myself and was hooked for self-descriptive number about two months ago. I thought of some optimized algorithms. I did not code enough on Perl, thus no coding lines was written on self-descriptive numbers (#043).

I decided to give a shot on the following week (#044). I am happy with what I did - keeping joining PWC makes me get familiar with an unorthodox but useful, multi-platform and fast scripting language; in addition, makes me have no reason to leave behind programming as in my university days.

(I only coded about HTML and CSS in my university days, oh my god. Hahaha.)

What I like About PWC

I like the PWC because 1. it is beginner-friendly 2. the tasks are flexible, participants can add features, or design different I/O according to their familitarity with Perl(/Raku/other_programming lang) or personal use 3. The RECAPs and Reviews are superb, for learning new libraries, knowing different algorithms and improvement on code oneself of each participant.

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About C. Y. Fung

user-pic I blog about Perl or other programming issues as a beginner.