About 10 years ago I picked up a bit of Perl out of necessity. I’d had some basic programming instruction, literally basic, then a bit of pascal, then a semester of C in college so I had the vaguest of ideas what I was doing but that was all. So when I had to re-write a perl script that someone else had done it was all pretty new to me. Over the next 10 years I gradually built up my perl programming experience from basic scripts to automate network management to writing my own modules and large scripts of several thousand lines interacting with SQL databases and excel.
Am I a perl “expert”? No, but I am a decent hack and my coding skills have served me very well over the years. Perl is an amazingly flexible language, it’s been described as the duct tape of computing but I don’t think that does it justice. It’s more like the Legos of computing, you can do anything with it and there’s add-ons for everything imaginable. It may not be pretty but it works.
So why learn Java? To write mobile apps. Perl is very command line, it’s not meant to build interfaces.
I’m starting this blog thread to record my experiences trying to convert from Perl to Java as others may have similar problems.