A little perl of wisdom

When it comes to finding some quick help (after the Helpdesk has closed), or those tidbits of knowledge and experience of someone who has tread the path before me, Google has been my friend for many years (taking up the mantle after AltaVista!).

But, there is a downside to learning all about a topic from Google. It is that you, the reader, are guiding the learning. You are getting the answers to the questions you ask...but it doesn't always offer things that you should know (or at least consider), based on your searches.

I taught myself perl, reading books, and using Google for answers, and examples...but I sometimes found myself confused when reading someone else's code. This year, I'm taking formal classes, from a few sources, hoping to patch a few holes in my foundation of knowledge.

While I'm glad to have taken this approach, to have someone guiding me through the learning, systematically, and answering my questions...I'm finding that the Teacher in this equation is even more important than the content. Even if someone knows the content well, that doesn't mean that they will be a good teacher. (Answering the occasional question does not equal teaching.)

After 5 weeks in a semester-long class at a local community college, I too a full-day Perl 101 course from Bayview Training...and then I coded for 15 hours straight, because that class had made a number of concepts more concrete for me (several "light-bulb" moments), and I was excited about the possibilities for my future projects.

I heartily recommend Bill Ward as an instructor. While he teaches primarily in Silicon Valley, he does travel for some classes and consulting as well. The cost of the course was money well spent! If you really need to learn some perl, check out Bayview Training and Bill Ward!

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