INTRODUCTION

“Get a job, hippy!”

That was the subtitle for this book that was sadly, but wisely, rejected. However, it conveys two things about this book that I’ve tried to focus on: getting a job and having fun while learning the skills you need. Well, as much fun as you can reasonably have while learning how to program.

Although many books aren’t explicit in this intent, I’ll say it up front: This book is about money. Information Technology (IT) workers are in high demand, even during the current economic downturn, and this book draws not only on your author’s 13 years of experience with the Perl programming language, but also on surveys that have been conducted regarding “Perl in the wild.” That’s why you’ll find an astonishing decision in this book: We focus on Perl versions 5.8 and 5.10. They’re no longer officially supported, but these are the versions of Perl that most companies still use. Fortunately, the Perl 5 Porters (also known as P5P) strive hard to maintain backward compatibility, so the code in this book still runs on the latest versions of Perl. As a result of this focus, by the time you finish this book, you’ll have the skills necessary to accept many Perl jobs.

I first conceived of a Perl book aimed at developing job skills when I was living in Portland, Oregon. Later, I moved to London and made a few inquiries about working on it, but to no avail. Then I moved to Amsterdam and started working with Wrox to create this book. I’m now living in Paris and am finishing ...

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