My Perl Pitch to Students
I blogged about visiting Evozon and giving a Perl pitch talk to students, trying to get them interested in Perl. I've decided to share the draft I wrote a day earlier with the ideas I wanted to express. So, here it is:
Do you like games? Because you can create games in Perl!
Do you like biology, stuff like sequencing the human genome? People do that in Perl!
Do you like web programing, creating websites and awesome web services? You can do that in Perl!
How about writing security tests? Writing exploits is often done in Perl!
See, you probably don't know what you want to do yet, and that's fine. It takes time for all of us to finally understand what we want to do. The great thing about Perl is that whenever you're ready, and whenever you know what you want to do, Perl is there. Perl is a language that allows you to take your time in deciding what you want to do, and when you finally know what it is - you could use Perl for it. It will just work.
Perl has a wide variety of modules written by people like you and me. There's the CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network), which is where we upload all of these modules. Anyone can join, anyone can contribute. You get free support, an issue tracker, a testing framework, and everything. You get people to help you out, and improve your code and knowledge and understanding, and you get to help other people. It's incredible. No other language has this much third-party components. It really is crazy!
But Perl is not just a strong, fast, open, free, and incredibly flexible language, but it also stresses community. You'll notice I don't speak Romanian. That's because I'm Israeli. I came here for a Perl meeting. Perl has lots of meetings and conferences. Perl has the most conferences world-wide than any other programming language. This isn't by accident. It's because we care about community. We have close to 4 big conferences (400-900 people) and dozens of conferences of smaller magnitude of 40-120 people - just about Perl. We meet, we drink, we talk about stuff, we even learn and teach each other new skills. We form not just professional connections, but actual friendships. We're all friends, and it's very rare, and very special. Nothing really can compete with that.
Perl is not just a profession or a skill, it's a home.
> We form not just professional connections, but actual friendships. We're all friends, and it's very rare, and very special. Nothing really can compete with that.
> Perl is not just a profession or a skill, it's a home.
I've been trying to make informal contacts with some of the local universities as well.
Similarly, I've been involved in conversations about whether mentioning games programming might get the attention of students.
The SDL library was being pushed quite hard within the Perl community a couple of years ago. I know some people worked hard to make the bindings available.
Armed with this knowledge, I spent half an hour googling games written in Perl. I couldn't find a single non-trivial example. Was I looking in the wrong places or is this another area in which we are kidding ourselves?
Frozen Bubble is written in Perl and SDL. It's even open source, and quite popular. I think it has packages available in most popular linux distributions.