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by perldigious (Priest)
on Dec 11, 2015 at 18:02 UTC ( #1150057=user: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I wrote a Perl Poetry post once that I'm proud of. Hubris and all that, you know. :-)

My relevant life story?

I'm an Electronics Engineer by trade, and even worse, primarily an Electronics Hardware Designer (*gasp, shun the non-believer!). I've always been pretty dismal at writing/deciphering embedded code, which even these days is almost entirely in C or Assembly in my profession. For me the exercise usually consists of attempting to drill my way down through ten layer deep #include style object oriented code with little to no comments or documentation only to three days later realize that I still can't get "this damn thing" to talk I2C, or SPI, or whatever to "that damn thing". Being primarily a hardware engineer largely excuses me from those frequent humiliations and ego tramplings.

At one point, I think I was around 13, I attempted to learn BASIC from a book, got bored with it, and gave up. "My thoughts were short and hair was long." Shortly after I learned how to program my trusty TI-83 calculator to help me "cheat" on math, physics, and chemistry exams, and then eventually to program simple little video games in to play after I finished the tests early because I'd "cheated" (so many GOTO LABELs, *shudder). After that I took a couple of semesters of HTML 4.0 in high school when 4.0 was still new (I remember shockingly little) and then I finally learned a real language with a couple semesters of C++. The teacher picked the language, I didn't know any better. I thought that was about the coolest class of my academic career up to that point. "Oh my, I can, like... DO THINGS!"

It was 50/50 for me to pick an Engineering major or a Computer Science major in college. I don't have as solid a reason as I probably should for going the way I did, it was more or less a knee-jerk decision. I may have noticed a couple of attractive girls in the Electronics Engineering department during orientation, I don't really recall... Despite this, I did fill almost all my available electives with Computer Engineering and Computer Science courses. I had the standard one semester of C for my major, but then opted to take another semester of C, x86 Assembly, and a VHDL class just for kicks. I recall dreaming up an imaginary stegosaurus friend named "Seggy Steggy" to help me debug assembly code because "error segmentation fault" officially became the most common string of words I've ever seen printed on a computer screen.

Then, after making it the better part of a decade in to my career without coding much of anything, I learned this wonderful thing called Perl. I learned it because I was trying to automate a lot of the mundane out of my own job and possibly the jobs of my immediate colleagues. This was so successful that it blossomed in to automating a lot of other things outside of my own department as well. Now, much to my own delight, writing random Perl s‎crip‎ts has become a semi-regular part of my job. I enjoy it enough that it has me questioning my very identity, yearning for a chance to travel back in time to college orientation and to say "Computer Science" instead. I could have even pitched "Seggy Steggy" as the mascot for Perl 6. :-)

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