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Perl - Fortune 500 quality?
So, my boss - my employment boss ( I have two, one from my employer, and
one from my contract), who is a java programmer - tells me, "Hey, did you
know that the company gives you $X for annual tuition, but you can spend it
on books?" Well, right away, I'm thinking, "Cool, now I can go get
Unix/Nutshell, and Learning Perl 3ed, and some other books that I've been
wanting but haven't wanted to spend the money on."
I go over to Borders, dig through the books, find the ones that look good
to me, and get their ISBN numbers. Then I go back to the office the next
day, and write 'em up in an email (with references to amawhorezon.com) which
I send to get approved. I wait awhile, but no reply. Hmmm... I'll go talk
Boss: About the books you want...
Boss: Why do you need a Unix book? Aren't you a windows admin?
Me: I spend half my time on Unix boxes... It'd be nice to have a good
Boss: Okay, I understand that. Now, about this windows reference book...
Boss: Aren't you already pretty experienced with windows administration?
Me: Uhh... Yeah... Aren't you already an experienced Java programmer?
Boss: Yeah, why?
Me: Well, you have all those Java books behind you...
Boss: Oh... Yeah, the windows reference is good too.
Me: (thinking) Uhh... yeah.
Boss: Okay, last one -- this Perl book...
Me: Uhh... Yeah?
Boss: Why do want a Perl book?
Me: Because I use Perl. Why not?
Boss: Well, Perl isn't a fortune 500 language... Not like Java...
Me: ?!?!?!?!? (Looking dumb...)
Boss: It's a mom-and-pop language...
Me: Huh? What do you mean?
Boss: Well, if you know Java, you can land a job or a contract just about
anywhere. But, no fortune 500 company produces software based on Perl. So,
if we lost this contract, you couldn't base your next job on Perl.
Me: (Thinking) Gawd, I hope not!
Boss: So it's all about marketablity. The more current and mainstream your
programming abilties are, the more likely you are to get hired.
Me: ! (Raised eyebrows here)
Boss: Oh. ... Yeah. ... Okay, so, uhmm... I'll go ahead and approve the Perl
So, what's up with his "Not a fortune 500" comment? I'd think there are
plenty of fortune 500 companies that have perl scripts running around. I'm
not denying that he may be right about the production of Perl based programs,
but you can google for "Perl" +"script*" and get back (Hold on, I'm
checking...) 1,520,000 hits, not counting news groups, with 'Safe Search'
enabled (No, I didn't check with safe search disabled). Let's see him find a
fortune 500 program based purely on MS JScript or VBScript...
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