Why do you learn Perl 6?

Every time I provide training somewhere I like to ask my students about their background and about their reasons to attend the class.

Unfortunately in corporate training I am usually shielded from the students up until the first day of the class so I cannot ask this question up front. Even more unfortunate that in many such cases the students actually don't really know why are they attending the class. The answers usually go along the lines of I have to maintain Perl scripts or I'll have to write Perl scripts or even that I was told to come to the class.

These people usually bring zero enthusiasm with themselves and will probably invest negative energy in actually making sense of what I am teaching.

Hence it is really refreshing to teach advanced classes such as the Test Automation using Perl where people usually already know what they want and why do they attend the class.

It is especially fun to teach classes around YAPCs or Perl workshops as then the students are also community aware. Many attend Perl Monger meetings, are using Perl Monks or chat on IRC.

That, along with the fact that this is a totally new class makes the Perl 6 training that I am going to give in Lisbon very promising. At least to me.

As an official version of Perl 6 has not yet been released and you cannot convince your boss to use it in production it was even more interesting to see why people take this class? I asked them my usual questions and most of them already answered.

As I think the answers can be interesting to others as well let me share some of them with you without any personal identification.

I'd really like to thank those who took the time to answer. I think this can provide a great feedback not only to me for the remaining preparations but to the Perl 6 developers as well.

Prior experience with Perl 6 ?

  • No.
  • None
  • None whatsoever
  • None, just some reading.
  • None. I like reading the Rakudo changelog and sources. But it looks pretty cool so far, so I can't wait to learn more :).

Why do you attend the course?

  • Just curious about what the hell Perl 6 is - after all this time, it is finally available, and I am not sure that I know anything about it.
  • I want to know what is new in Perl 6. Partly because I am curious and want to keep me updated, partly because our customers are likely to ask me about differences and benefits compared to perl 5. And, of course, because I will probably be using it in a while :-)
  • I want to learn some Perl 6 before Christmas.
  • To get started developing Perl 6 apps.
  • The course is for me the easy way into Perl 6. I have too many projects - some for my company, some for myself (most made available for the community) to force myself to stop and try Perl 6. This is my entry.

What kind of problems would you like to solve?

  • Anything involving OO, scoping, regexes, and data structures. I don't know if there is any news in DB access, but that could be interesting too.
  • Also, threading, integration to other languages, and debugging/profiling.
  • Write a compiler would be one of them, also how Perl 6 handles asynchronous IO and threading would be something I could use.
  • Data transformation, basic I/O, but mostly just the new features of the language itself. Also, I am particularly interested in modifying the language itself and exploring facilities for parsing of other languages using the features of Perl 6.
  • I do not think that I will produce any production code with Perl 6 yet - but I will use if for small personal utilities depending on how easy it is to build it on Windows 7

What are your expectations?

Here some of them really got carried away. I think I'll have to reduce their expectation quickly. Before we start the two days training.

  • Get the basics and find out how long there is to next Christmas.
  • I hope to become able to program at the same level in Perl 6 as I do in Perl 5 - as well as learning to use the new features.
  • My expectations are high, but not targeted, I want to learn what Perl 6 can make for me and help me do better and faster.
  • Very very very very high :-)
    To be more precise, just to get started writing smaller scripts and getting an introduction to the new features of the language as stated above.
  • I am more curious than anything else. But one thing is for sure - It took me far longer to learn Perl than it should have. That was mostly my fault, because I did not go and seek out the experts and learn from them.
    For example - If someone had have explained to me the Perl 5 idea of array, and scalar context and why that was useful, examples of when it is used, and functions that use it - that would have greatly speeded up my learning. It is these power tips that I seek. Not so much the facts, because we can always look those things up - but more the helicopter view, the philosophy, the why of this new programming language.
  • Published on 2009-07-26 by Gabor Szabo