Perl is a flexible yet powerful programming language with a variety of potential purposes, including web development, system administration and GUI development. Perl training can prepare programmers to use this tool for rapid application development or complex system development. Perl 5 runs on over 100 platforms, including UNIX, Mac, and Microsoft Windows operating systems, and the Perl website describes it as powerful, stable, mature and portable.
Perl training: Who is best suited for it?
It might be helpful for those interested in Perl training to have a knowledge of programming and software development in general, as a foundation. However, Perl is intended to be easy to use, and those with little to no background in coding can make good use of Perl training as well. Usually programmers or developers are the target audience for this type of training, but it may be useful for system and network administrators and software engineers as well.
Perl training and community resources
The many options for Perl training include these resources on the Perl website and elsewhere:
- Free online Perl books
- Local Perl communities
- Online FAQs and getting started pages
- Videos from Perl workshops and conferences
- A list of recommended modules for day-to-day tasks
Community learning opportunities allow individuals to take advantage of Perl resources such as mailing lists, chats, conferences and workshops, blogs, and a variety of foundations that support Perl. For example, there are online communities devoted to sharing Perl knowledge and coding tips.
The Learn Perl page offers presentations, such as Introduction to Perl, which are recommended as a supplement to more traditional Perl courses. In addition, FAQs are downloaded as part of the Perl distribution.
Elements of Perl courses
A number of training vendors offer Perl courses. An introductory course in Perl would cover a range of topics such as these:
- Perl syntax fundamentals
- Creating effective, reusable Perl scripts that can be used on various platforms
- Using Perl operators and built-in functions
- Using Perl for looping, decisions and flow-control
- Using Perl for writing subroutines
Courses with hands-on exercises that allow students to practice and test what they're learning are best for mastering programming languages.
Job outlook for those with Perl training
The debate over creating a Perl credential is ongoing. Many see it as a way to demonstrate Perl expertise, while others see it as a meaningless certificate. There is currently no official Perl certification though some schools offer Perl Programming Certificates as part of their coursework.
The Perl Job Site counts 1 million Perl programmers across the globe. Jobs.perl.org posts open positions at major e-commerce and high-tech firms, with job titles such as Senior Perl Programmer, Perl Developer, Perl Web Developer and Perl Software Engineer. Positions that are specifically asking for Perl programming language skills will likely require Perl training or significant equivalent work experience in Perl. For those developers looking to differentiate and deepen their programming skill set, Perl training could offer a competitive advantage.