YAPC through the eyes of a recruiter
Last week I attended the YAPC:NA 2012 in Madison, WI and I wanted to pass along a few observations from a recruiters point of view. Having recruited Perl developers for Shutterstock in NYC , there is a perception in the recruiting community that Perl is a dying language, there is a lot of unmaintainable code, and that Perl programmers are nearly impossible to find. Shutterstock has had a lot of success with Perl so why all the negativity? And while the company does have a lot of really smart, cool Perl developers, it is a hiring challenge. Anyway, when I arrived at the conference, I was surprised at how down to earth and friendly everyone seemed to be, not to mention a fairly large number of younger developers and recent graduates who loved Perl. You could really sense the power of the community they all shared. One of the guys I spoke with had graduated from an engineering program several years back and had learned perl on his own. He claimed it was a fun and powerful language and sure, he does stuff in other languages, but Perl is his workhorse. He went on and on about how quickly and efficiently you can get stuff done using the free tools that Perl provides. No shame. The other observation was how much support there is around the language. My Perl coworker was able to recognize just about anyone from their IRC handle. Apparently the IRC chat is a place where most Perl people hang out to ask questions and help out the the newbie. Seems to me that Perl is alive and well, but unless you live in the Perl world, it can be hard to see that. Perhaps it's time we bring a new message about Perl to recruiters.