There Are Half A Million Perl Programmers In The World

Apparently there are half a million Perl programmers in the world.

[From my blog.]


Having been a system/network admin for many years, I can tell you there is a large crowd of people who use Perl on a regular basis and will never show up on, Perl Weekly, you will never see them at YAPC or any other 'programmer' metric. However, Perl is there goto language for automating tasks, ad hoc portals or slapping a web interface on something, monitoring systems or various other activities. I do not believe you see this same penetration by other languages, and certainly not Java, into this realm. So how do you count this segment. As I am writing this, I am thinking of a sys admin right now that I know in Germany. He writes Perl like I did 10 years ago, but wants to make the jump from admin to full time Perl programmer. How do we bring this group out of the dark?

"Apparently" is the wrong word here since this claim is not clearly visible. It starts with a lot of shaky guessing and estimates from many sources and compounded by Priit Potter, then further compounded to Gabor, then citied uncritically across the internet. This is the opposite of "apparent".

There are several problems, but the biggest one is that Priit takes numbers from the developed countries of the world, does some shaky averaging, and then applies the "weighted percentage" to the rest of the global population.

Priit says things like "If we now make a bold claim that each Java developer on Eclipse will download the IDE exactly once a year, ...". That assumption fuels the rest of the numbers and has no basis in fact. Downloads don't mean use and lack of downloads don't mean non-use. I object to the notion that a developer with download it only once, or even at all.

Let's be the side that doesn't let this stuff go. Bad data lead to bad conclusions which lead to Wikipedia editing which leads to anger which leads to hate.

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About JT Smith

user-pic My little part in the greater Perl world.