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How to bring newbies to perl?

How to bring newbies to perl?


June 08, 2015

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  1. Introduction • I'm Upasana – Working at booking.com – Contribute

    to some FOSS projects • Contact me: – me@upasana.me – upasana on irc.perl.org & irc.freenode.net
  2. The culprit!

  3. What I am going to present • Perl is short

    of newbies – Is it true? – Why? – how can we bring more newbies to Perl?
  4. Disclaimer • While preparing for this talk, I was short

    of content. • I asked at various places for people's opinions on this topic. • I got a very good response from everywhere. • So, opinions could be of my friends, family, colleagues or may be of some internet trolls.
  5. Who's a newbie? • Someone doing perl programming for 3

    or less than 3 years.
  6. What made me think of it? • I've plenty of

    friends in the perl community – Of various age groups. – Of various experience levels. – But most of them have been doing perl for more than 3 years
  7. What made me think of it? • I came across

    this repository of implementation of various algorithms in various languages – https://github.com/kennyledet/Algorithm-Implementations • But Perl was missing! :(
  8. What made me think of it? • A friend shared

    this – http://raftconsensus.github.io/ – Raft is a consensus algorithm for fault-tolerant distributed systems. • He also shared the fact that Perl is missing there. • I didn't know about it until he told me :(.
  9. Perl is short of newbies • When I told this

    to people, some of them asked me for statistics. • So, I asked some Perl trainers for statistics. • Sadly, I can't present the raw data due to privacy issues. • I extracted statistical trends from that data.
  10. Statistics 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13

    0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 66 62 78 56 76 72 37 20 18 Number of peope attended the course Year
  11. Why people left Perl! • Bad reputation of older perl

    language – Web development was a pain • CGI
  12. No easy way of doing OOP

  13. Why people left perl! • Documentation & syntax are difficult

    to understand as compared to other languages. • Bad reputation of perl community in past.
  14. Why people left perl! • As a result of last

    two points – People who learnt Perl 10 years ago, moved towards other languages(python, ruby) in past. – They never came back!
  15. But now, it has changed • For web development –

    Catalyst. – Mojolicious, Dancer, AMON.
  16. But now, it has changed! • For OOP – Moose,

    Moo, p5-mop. – And yes, p5-mop may go into perl core in future.

  18. Our good things

  19. Our good things • Great support for text-processing • ack

    • Request Tracker • Bugzilla
  20. Our good things • CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) •

    Friendly & helpful community.
  21. Our good things • Multi-purpose language – Web development –

    System administration – Desktop applications
  22. But we've some bad[1] things as well [1] they were

    awesome when they were invented, but not anymore
  23. Our bad things • Good CMS – blogs.perl.org is a

    good example of it
  24. Our bad things • Our website – No success stories

    – Really old look – No REPL
  25. Uncategorized perly traits • TIMTOWTDI (There Is More Than One

    Way To Do It). – It confuses people
  26. Uncategorized perly traits • Perl one liners. – Everything in

    one line, seriously? – Not a clean language? – http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?PerlGolf
  27. Why there're less newbies! • Less Massive Open Online Courses

    for Perl – Only Udemy & Alison have Perl courses – Udacity, CourseEra have courses on Python, Ruby & Scala etc.
  28. Why there're less newbies! • Less participation in internship programs

    – Perl participated twice in Google Summer of Code. – Perl participated four times in GNOME's Outreach Program for Women. – But we should probably have more of them.
  29. Why there're less newbies! • Companies do not want to

    train new people – Well! This is a rather general fact, which applies to all languages. – Our company i.e. Booking.com does train new people :)
  30. & we are hiring (not only perl developers :)

  31. Why there're less newbies! • We may not have not

    marketed well. • People's interests are market driven – Python, PHP, Ruby,... are more popular than Perl in market. – Newbies tend to learn those languages instead of Perl.
  32. Why there're less newbies! • No university teaches perl, they

    prefer python, SICP,... – Atleast, I've not seen any!
  33. Why there're less newbies! • Less good examples to convince

    people to use the language
  34. Perl events • OSCON – Started as a Perl conference

    :) – Now, Wikipedia says that “the amount of Perl content has continued to decline year over year”. • Yet Another Perl Conference (YAPCs) • FOSDEM • Various PM meetups & workshops.
  35. Perl newbies at Perl events • Some people who organize

    & attend Perl conferences say – We see quite a few newbies every year. – But we see most of them only once. – We don't have a problem attracting newbies. Our problem is with keeping the newbies.
  36. Why newbies go to perl conferences only once! • They

    may not understand the content of talks! – It's very much possible that content of talks is very advanced. • They may not like the community! • I don't get any other reason(s) :(
  37. Want newbies in Perl conferences every year! • Try to

    make your talks beginner friendly. • Be friendly with newbies :).
  38. How can we bring more newbies to Perl • By

    introducing Perl in various MOOCs. • By organizing internship programs like Google Summer Of Code & GNOME's Outreach Program frequently. • By talking about Perl at non-perl events – Tell them about advantages of Perl over other languages. – Tell them that Perl is not horrible at all. • CPAN authors – Please document your modules in a newbie friendly manner!
  39. How can we bring more newbies to Perl • By

    writing concise Perl tutorials – e.g. Tutorials on perlmaven.com • By making newbies to stop following old Perl books – learn.perl.org still suggests a book written in 2000
  40. If you're a newbie & want to start with perl

    • Start with any of these books – Beginning Perl by Curtis Ovid Poe – Modern Perl by Chromatic • If you want to stay up to date with latest perl happenings – blogs.perl.org • Many perl programmers post there. – Subscribe to Perl Weekly
  41. If you're a newbie (or may be even if you're

    not a newbie)
  42. None
  43. None
  44. Thanks to • People who shared their opinions with me,

    a very long list! • Two perl trainers who shared statistics of their perl courses. • Chris Prather for reviewing initial versions of talk slides.
  45. Thanks for your time!

  46. Questions?