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What do you do for living?

by tamaguchi (Pilgrim)
on Mar 07, 2006 at 02:18 UTC ( #534811=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Is your job assoicated to Perl? What education do you have? Are there really any jobs out there which consist of coding Perl only? Im a molecularbiologist/bioinformaticist doing an project in bioinformatics and have the privelige to write Perl everyday, allday long these days. I dont get any money for it though.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: What do you do for living?
by Sandy (Curate) on Mar 07, 2006 at 03:37 UTC
    PhD in physics

    No research jobs available without moving around a lot

    Kids + husband + house

    Change career... am experienced programmer (FORTRAN)

    Got job eventually because knowlege of FORTRAN

    Worked for 1st time on Unix, thought it was cool

    Learned 'c'. s'ok

    Learned tcsh, even wrote programs in it (bad choice, but still cool learning experience)

    Discovered Perl accidently (providence??)

    After 25 years finally accept that there is a language better than FORTRAN

    Start falling in love with Perl, becoming born-again programmer

    Convince boss and co-workers that Perl is natural language of choice for what I do (not web)

    Happy as a pig in sh..

Re: What do you do for living?
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Mar 07, 2006 at 03:10 UTC
    I'm one of those few privileged developers that has written specifically Perl for a living for over 5 years. My current employer is very OSS-aware and expects us to work on OSS projects when we don't have a specific work-related task.

    That said, I don't only program in Perl. In my job, I actually program in at least 4 different languages, and up to 6-7 depending on how you define "language".

    • Perl
    • Javascript
    • SQL
    • Shell/bash
    • (X)HTML
    • CSS
    • PDF
    • ASP

    While not all are Turing-complete, they all require the same amount of dedication to master.

    My criteria for good software:
    1. Does it work?
    2. Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?
      Diddo less pdf. Don't have to work with them.

      I'm moving a company that sells a web service to auto-dealers, off of the Microsoft line entirely. "Our" site was made with an WYSIWYG editor and I'm currently upgrading the asp in place to new optimized ASP with valid XHTML/CSS just to rewrite it all over again in a major reivision adding new features. The major revision uses Postgres, mod_perl and Mason. Horrah. The sales manger is currently undergoing an in house alpha-test. I plan to have the first mod_perl/postgres/linux version rolled out in 4months.

      Evan Carroll
Re: What do you do for living?
by perrin (Chancellor) on Mar 07, 2006 at 04:32 UTC
    Are there really any jobs out there which consist of coding Perl only?

    Are you joking? Major companies run their businesses on Perl. Take a look at the Perl jobs list.

Re: What do you do for living?
by Your Mother (Bishop) on Mar 07, 2006 at 03:17 UTC

    BA in English. Perl has been 5-90% of my last 8 jobs or so. I don't think any job is 100% any one thing, though. As close as I've got to 100% there was still HTML or database or other tool IO or ... involved.

    A lot of the Perl hackers I know personally, maybe most, were not formally trained in CS. Part of what I love so much about Perl is its linguistic feel. Its communicative depth. I did some programming as a kid in BASIC and Assembly but I probably never would have returned to it if I hadn't met Perl. Turing completeness accepted, Perl is just so much fun to program I find myself looking for things to try with it, not just addressing the actual needs at hand.

Re: What do you do for living?
by merlyn (Sage) on Mar 07, 2006 at 13:23 UTC
    I've never had a job that consisted of coding in Perl only, or even of only coding in Perl. However, nearly all of my jobs in the past 10 years have consisted of coding in only Perl. And the rest of my job has often been figuring out where "only" goes in that sentence.

    "Dogs must remain on a leash in the park." "What? I can't take him home? Sorry, Fido."

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
    Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

Re: What do you do for living?
by CountZero (Bishop) on Mar 07, 2006 at 06:58 UTC
    Lawyer,, 15 years at the bar and now 8 years at a major insurance broker dealing with marine claims files, the last few years as team leader of the liability ("Protection and Indemnity") team.

    Using Perl alsmost every day to update our statistics. Wrote the statistics website in Perl + XML + XSLT and now rewriting it with Catalyst + Template Toolkit.


    "If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler." - Conway's Law

Re: What do you do for living?
by zentara (Archbishop) on Mar 07, 2006 at 11:57 UTC
    To stay alive I breath. I'm a completely unemployable monk/philosopher/dropout/bozo ( depending on context :-) )

    I am fascinated by computers, and see the network as the earth's attempt to form neural pathways between it's newly formed earthbrain cells (us). The neural-net pathways need a way of accurately and flexibly controlling the information.... Perl is it.

    Occaisionally I make some food money by doing handyman work( electric, plumbing, carpentry, etc), but if I had my choice, I would be an organic farmer, and am always looking for a way to grow a specialty crop, and sell it over the internet.

    I would gladly pay you Tuesday, for a tofu burger today. :-)

    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. flash japh
Re: What do you do for living?
by Marza (Vicar) on Mar 07, 2006 at 02:42 UTC

    Well I am a generalist. ;) Mainly WAN, Email, security, and windows AD stuff.

    Some Perl is needed from time to time. But the boss likes to spend money so tools are purchased. Probably the most interesting thing I got my hands into was a script to manage the email lists. The person would wrote did such a crappy job it warrented a rewrite. He stole somebodies code and bastarded it really good. I found Hash generations that weren't used and routines that did nothing

    Education? What's that? Someday I might get a degree.

Re: What do you do for living?
by Moriarty (Abbot) on Mar 07, 2006 at 04:04 UTC

    I'm a self taught programmer, having started with BASIC.

    I learnt several different versions of BASIC on different machines, dabbled in Z80 assembler, before moving to Modular II on the Amiga.

    It was my knowledge of programming the Amiga that got me my current job (knowing how to handle linked lists within linked lists within linked lists ...), using C (which I hadn't used before) as my primary language.

    Several people here have written scripts in Perl in the past and then handed the jobs to me to maintain, which, of course, required me to learn Perl.

    These days, my Perl programming is predominantly "quick and dirty" scripts that do a particular job. It just seems easier to do them Perl than anything else.

    I haven't seen any jobs around here that require Perl knowledge exclusively, in fact, I haven't seen many jobs around here that require Perl (or C for that matter), most seem to require Java, .net, MySQL, etc.

Re: What do you do for living?
by ady (Deacon) on Mar 07, 2006 at 06:43 UTC
    MSc. Biology, MSc Comp.Science

    * Dynamic simulation of biological systems (Pascal, Dynamo, Simula67): marine plankton productivity, parasite/prey dynamics, vertebrate neurological signal processing (retina/brain)

    * Text Processing system in (CBasic, multiuser CP/M), Printer drivers in (80x86 ASM) - those were the days before MS Word...

    * Taxation system for Danish local administrations (C, Portable across Unix/Posix and DOS): basic stuff like portable file access, locking mechanism, fast search & hashing -- fun stuff

    * A lot of R&D in method depatments, evaluating and introducing languages and OS (C, Unix, Windows, Java, .NET)

    * From Win3.1 and upwards, on Win 16bit & NT/2K/XP -- MS DNA (HTML, JavaScript, ASP) and MS .NET - architecture, education, code review

    * Code module & relation analysis and visualization, flying somewhat below the radar here using Perl & other OpenSource tools extensively for text parsing, data munging and Perl/TK for GUI, proving the productivity of Perl flexibility and power of expression.

    * .NET web services, again using Perl, now for preprocessing of SOAP/XML envelopes in connection with a open source (CC.Net/NAnt/NUnit) continous integration framework

    * Perl has turned a most valuable tool in my programming toolbox, esp. for text processing, data munging (parsing/transformation), OS integration & such. Besides that, it has been a "falling in love" experience, like I have only experienced before with UNIX/C. When i play with new concepts for fun & education, i do it in Perl.

    * Perl is here to stay; And when I uset it at work, they pay :)

Re: What do you do for living?
by McDarren (Abbot) on Mar 07, 2006 at 08:35 UTC
    I spent almost 18 years working for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

    Most of this time was spent bouncing around the Australian Outback in four wheel drive vehicles installing and maintaining remote Automatic Weather Stations. Not a computer to be seen :)

    In 1995 I discovered the internet, and that was the beginning of the end of my career in meteorology :)

    I eventually worked up the nerve in 1999 to chuck it in, so I resigned and went looking for a job in IT. Found a position with an IT company based in Sydney, installing broadband solutions in five star hotels. This eventually led to a relocation to Singapore, where I've been for the past 3.5 years.

    These days I manage a Network Operations Centre, looking after a network of around 800 servers spread all over the globe. It's fun :)

    As far as Perl and programming goes, I'd have to say I'm just an enthusiast. Although it's not really my job, I love finding ways to use Perl in our workplace for all sorts of stuff.

Re: What do you do for living?
by tcf03 (Deacon) on Mar 07, 2006 at 11:31 UTC
    Im a UNIX admin - I use Perl for anything and everything, and then some. Sometimes on my lunch break, I write Perl code. I dont consider myself to be very good, it just make me happy.

    "That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved."
      --Ralph Waldo Emerson
Re: What do you do for living?
by samizdat (Vicar) on Mar 07, 2006 at 14:24 UTC
    Hmmm... I could say it's only Perl, but like dc I tend to have Javascript, HTML, XML, SQL, Apache redirects, scripting, cron jobs, etc., as part of my output.

    I have a BA in Sociology and psych; very few of my computer concepts came from formal schooling although one high school teacher really triggered me with a little assembler simulator named STOP for which we wrote programs on IBM punch cards. He actually explained register-indirect well enough that I was able to master the 8086. :)

    What I did learn in (and around) college was how learning is creating associations and relationships, a way of growing that is the opposite of most formal classwork. Perl appeals to me because it is a very organically inspired language: it'll have sex with anything! ;-D

    Don Wilde
    "There's more than one level to any answer."
Re: What do you do for living?
by rinceWind (Monsignor) on Mar 07, 2006 at 10:49 UTC

    I have a computer science BSc and 20 years postgrad IT experience.

    I am currently consulting in the financial services sector in the City of London - employed by a consultancy as a full time employee.

    My present role is applications support and development. This is a kind of jack-of-all-trades role, with C++ as the main programming language, also shell scripting and some Perl. Although I'm not being hired to do Perl, I sometimes get to introduce it when it seems the right tool for the job.

    In my spare time (which my employer doesn't own), I'm doing lots of Perl, as author of 10 CPAN modules, a developmer of OpenGuides, webmaster and web host, and much else. I also attend and speak at some Perl conferences and workshops, self funded.


    Oh Lord, won’t you burn me a Knoppix CD ?
    My friends all rate Windows, I must disagree.
    Your powers of persuasion will set them all free,
    So oh Lord, won’t you burn me a Knoppix CD ?
    (Missquoting Janis Joplin)

Re: What do you do for living?
by philcrow (Priest) on Mar 07, 2006 at 14:39 UTC
    I'm a perl/mod_perl programmer with a Ph.D. in Applied Math that hasn't done me much good since I gave up teaching.

    Our shop language is Perl, but we present database backed web apps to other departments and to the customers of our cable/isp. This means we have to deal with SQL, HTML, and recently a lot of JavaScript (though one of my colleagues likes that, so he does most of it). We also deal with hardware on occasion (like the kind the routes phone calls the old fashioned way). These devices tend to speak C.

    So that leaves us about 90-95% perl with a few odd bits thrown in.


Re: What do you do for living?
by spiritway (Vicar) on Mar 07, 2006 at 05:52 UTC

    Alas, I'm a paralegal, and Perl is not much of an asset in that occupation. I only get to program at night...

Re: What do you do for living?
by Courage (Parson) on Mar 07, 2006 at 07:56 UTC
    I do many text conversion for my language translation department, and Perl is perfect fit for such a job:
    • given text to translate, it quickly performs any words analyzis or whatever
    • given some file format, its easy to manage for FrameMaker, Acrobat, Trados, VIM, or, rarely, MS-Word, to process my files all the way I want.
    • ... and many many other cases, and that is why I invoke perl with a perl script named 'p', so it locates real scripts to invoke in a certain place, showing me GUI interface to fill in parameters, or just running with out any GUI at all, optionally.

    In my working place, all is done to invoke perl quickly and comfortably, because it is started hundreds times in a day.

Re: What do you do for living?
by ptum (Priest) on Mar 07, 2006 at 15:20 UTC

    I work in the Telecommunications industry, writing systems in Perl to provision network elements with the data they need to talk to each other, and to find out what went wrong when they don't. While my work requires knowledge of SQL, SOAP & XML, HTML & CSS, various Unix shells and utilities, a smattering of Javascript, a few protocols and a host of proprietary tools, I still tend to characterize my job as 'mostly Perl'.

    One of the things I really like about Perl is that it seems nearly any problem can be solved in a few hours. As a husband and a father of five children, I firmly draw the line at a 40-hour work week. I don't think I've had to work through a weekend since my days as an IMS DB/DC COBOL programmer, right out of college.

    I have a BS in Computer Science and Psychology, with some additional graduate coursework (non-degree seeking) in Computer Science here and there over the years. I've recently begun pursuing a certificate in C++ through a local university.

    Many of the positions I have held since college have been 'mostly Perl' jobs. While I think that much of the real work that I do is accomplished in Perl, I have found that many job postings list Perl as an 'additional useful skill' or pair it with some other key qualification. I guess this is reasonable, considering that any programmer worth their salt will tend to have a diverse skillset and can selectively apply the best tool to a particular problem.

    Still, this 'proverb' often applies to me: To a guy with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    No good deed goes unpunished. -- (attributed to) Oscar Wilde
Re: What do you do for living?
by gawatkins (Monsignor) on Mar 07, 2006 at 08:21 UTC

    I work as a System/Network admin, I have found that my job is much easier if I replace thing s that I do not like to do (parse logs, backup files, monitor equipment) with something that I do like to do (write Perl scripts to do my work). All of that aside, have a BS in Mathematics, where I learned the usual c, c++, FORTRAN, BASIC, assembler, etc... but I usually choose Perl because it is quicker to write and easier to maintain.

    Greg W
Re: What do you do for living?
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Mar 07, 2006 at 17:47 UTC
    Is your job assoicated to Perl?

    Kinda. I probably spend most of my paid programming with Perl. But I'm paid to make clients happy with great software. Perl is just a tool that helps me along the way.

    What education do you have?

    BA (in Computing and Artificial Intelligence if anybody cares :-)

    Im a molecularbiologist/bioinformaticist doing an project in bioinformatics and have the privelige to write Perl everyday, allday long these days. I dont get any money for it though.

    Yes you do :-) Nobody is paid just to write perl. People are paid to make things happen. Perl is just a means to an end - whether it be an e-commerce web site or a whole bunch of phylogenetic analysis.

    That's why it gets my goat when people refer to me as a Perl Programmer. I'm not a perl programmer. I'm a programmer. Or, if I'm going to be picky - a software developer. People pay me to make software. Programming is just one skill I use to help make software. Perl is just one tool I use when I'm programming. I've used other tools before I used Perl. I'm 100% I'll use other tools in the future.

Re: What do you do for living?
by cog (Parson) on Mar 07, 2006 at 08:34 UTC
    Are there really any jobs out there which consist of coding Perl only?

    Yes. I have one of those :-)

Re: What do you do for living?
by pboin (Deacon) on Mar 07, 2006 at 17:45 UTC

    I convert mainframe document archives systems (warehouses, whatever). Even though Perl can run on the mainframe (z/OS), very few (ie: none) of my clients have it setup and ready to go. *But* perl is so amazingly well-suited to text maniupulation, which is what makes the 'frame go round, I use it extensively on linux to manipulate data and then send it back.

    I have a BS in Accounting, but I've never done it a day in my life. Unfortunately, I have zero training in CompSci, so I feel handicapped a bit. I've managed to stumble through to a fairly satisfying career however.

    I run the shop around here, so I pretty much get to call the shots on all things technical. Our small consulting business is 80% perl at this point, with some shell scripts to hold it up and a fair amount of COBOL too. We have a prettty good set of in-house modules for each of the systems we deal with.

Re: What do you do for living?
by dorko (Prior) on Mar 07, 2006 at 15:34 UTC
Re: What do you do for living?
by sfink (Deacon) on Mar 08, 2006 at 02:35 UTC
    I use Perl, C++, and OpenGL to make imaginary things spray out of you and dance. Or attack you.

    In return, they give me over $100 every single day, except when I don't show up for work.

    I have already written elsewhere about how I learned Perl, but the short version is: I learned Perl in self-defense.

    I work for Reactrix Systems, and am willing to admit it.
Re: What do you do for living?
by liverpole (Monsignor) on Mar 07, 2006 at 20:48 UTC
    BA in math.  I was always fascinated by mathematics, even as a kid.  There was never any doubt that I would pursue something math-related as an adult.

    When I was in junior high school, computers were just starting to become available for the general public, and I began learning BASIC programming.  I got even more involved in computers in college, where we had a DEC RSTS/E system, and a few, very highly-in-demand video terminals.  In my junior year I learned Pascal, having mostly used BASIC and FORTRAN to that point, and was amazed at the beauty of structured programming.

    In my career, I've always been a software engineer (except for the first year out of college, when I tried teaching English in Japan).  My first job gave me a chance to learn C, as well as the joys of programming in Unix.  I've found that I naturally gravitate towards higher-level languages, preferring applications programming over disciplines closer to the hardware.  In that respect, Perl fits most naturally with my style of programming, and although I knew of Perl, I didn't really start learning/using it until the summer of 2000, when I was a toolsmith for a networking company.

    My current job is by far the best I've had in years.  I'm a build/release engineer for a telephony company, whose product is based on a Linux platform.  Most of my work involves writing Perl -- as I also work on tools, automation, and web-based programming (mySQL, CGI, HTML, Javascript, etc.)  I'm very blessed to be able to use my past experience combined with learning lots of new things all the time.  One thing I can say for sure is that I'll be using Perl for as long as I can!

    @ARGV=split//,"/:L"; map{print substr crypt($_,ord pop),2,3}qw"PerlyouC READPIPE provides"

      Kinda neat. I also work as a build engineer and with phones. Some of my work involves Perl, mostly used for automation, rest of my work revolves around special tools and solving problems as they arise.

      Before that I worked with financial software, but 5 years of shares and bonds and stuff was enough for me. Programming there was really fun, but problem domain wasn't so much :)

      I have bachelor's degree in engineering, topped with some odd courses here and there. - t-shirts for Coders, engineers, roleplayers, scientists, jugglers and nerds
Re: What do you do for living?
by TrekNoid (Pilgrim) on Mar 07, 2006 at 23:36 UTC
    Bachelor's in Comp Sci... MBA... 20+ years in programming, going back to COBOL on the mainframe.

    Currently the Lead Systems Analyst for the Web/DB development group at a large University Hospital in the Southeastern United States.

    I learned Perl out of self-defense when our former Perl programmer left us, and left us with no way to maintain their work. I probably work 95% of the time in SQL, and only get to write Perl whenever we need some sort of process automated.

    I still come to learn, though... I doubt I'll ever catch up with most of you, but as long as I can advance my knowledge a little each day, I'm making headway :)


Re: What do you do for living?
by TedPride (Priest) on Mar 08, 2006 at 01:19 UTC
    My job involves troubleshooting anything web / programming based for the company I work for. This means HTML, CSS, Javascript, basic graphic design and layout, Perl, PHP, mySQL, etc. etc. I use Perl a lot, but mostly for quickie custom stuff or admin functionality - for instance parsing, tabulating, and formatting poll results.

    I'm (slowly) finishing up the last of my Bachelor's Comp Sci degree. The programming is easy, but the math is hard.

Re: What do you do for living?
by tunaboy (Curate) on Mar 07, 2006 at 19:09 UTC

    I do as much of $day_job as I can in Perl (the majority of the systems at current $day_job are written in MS Access 97 or VB). All of my @contract_jobs are Perl (some wxPerl, some CGI::Application, some plain CGI).

    I obtained a Diploma of CIS (Computer Information Systems) from a two year course at a local college. Before that was two years of general arts at the same college and before that was a year of Engineering at UBC.

    I am a generalist, not a specialist, and Perl comes in handy for almost anything I might need to do. Which is, of course, part of what I love about Perl.

Re: What do you do for living?
by TStanley (Canon) on Mar 08, 2006 at 01:29 UTC
    My "official" job title is unix administrator, although I haven't touched a unix system in over six months. I was originally hired for my scripting skills, although now days, I hardly ever use them. If it wasn't for my four modules on CPAN, I would hardly be using Perl at all.

    Most of my current work has been writing scripts for Windows, using shell and VBScript.

    War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that “nothing is worth war” is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. -- John Stuart Mill
Re: What do you do for living?
by SamCG (Hermit) on Mar 07, 2006 at 19:26 UTC
    BA and some master's training in psychology (experimental), JD 2003

    I serve as a business analyst for Compliance and Legal Technology in an asset management firm. It's not a bad field financially, and I get to code in Perl to make my life easier.

    Prior to this, I was a developer at a small-ish securities broker for 7 years. About two years before I left I started seriously investigating Perl; partially because I knew I wouldn't be there (and probably not a developer) forever and that Perl would be useful no matter what I went into.

    Perl is sort of the ultimate tool, a super-app for the user who can work with it. Consider, a lot of rather technical users are very good with Excel -- they can program macros, know all the functions, etc. Some of what they do is rather ingenious. The capabilities of the most advanced Excel users, however, pale in comparison to someone who has a working grasp of Perl.

    I know Perl is more than a Swiss army knife for the PC, and can be used for quite a bit. However, using it as a Swiss army knife is a huge step up from those who just have a pen knife.
Re: What do you do for living?
by thor (Priest) on Mar 08, 2006 at 04:42 UTC
    Right now, I do QA. In two weeks, I start a dba job. I use perl to cull things from databases in "interesting" ways and to do one-off type resolutions for production issues. For instance, the other day, the project manager for implementing a product that I have nothing to do with came to me and asked if I could clean some bad XML that was being sent from an HP-UX server. About 50 lines later, done. The majority of that was dealing with corner cases; the main algorithm was about 10 lines. That's why I love perl...I can do relatively difficult things in a short amount of time and space.


    The only easy day was yesterday

Re: What do you do for living?
by msemtd (Scribe) on Mar 08, 2006 at 09:01 UTC
    I'm a software engineer (C/C++/Java) for an electronics company and I use Perl to write various tools for testing serial and sockets communications. I have a HND in computer studies (for what it's worth!). I recently applied for a job as a Perl/Linux/Mysql developer but I haven't heard back from them so I assume I wasn't good enough! sigh!
    -- map & grep are our friends
Re: What do you do for living?
by Anonymous Monk on Mar 08, 2006 at 14:45 UTC

    I do system integration and occasional web development for a day job - right now I'm integrating and scheduling critical aviation data feeds for a specialist company that provides briefing and alert services to logistics and airlines. One of our customers was the only european airline able to get it's customers to their destinations on 2 days last year, which is pretty cool (all the others had their entire fleets grounded and customers stuck in airports).

    We get to deal with the UK Met Office a lot, and they use a lot of perl - in fact we should have a bunch come to Devon and Cornwall Perl mongers first technical meeting in the coming weeks.

    My Background is BSc Honours degree in Computer Systems and Networks, with Diploma in Computer Studies before that.

    Been doing mostly perl for about 6 years with the occasional bit of ASP, PHP and other oddities.

    Previous jobs meant using webservices and custom stuff to connect stock management systems to websites, and various client/server applications, as well as a large chunk of ecommerce and content management.

    Aaron 'TEEJAY' Trevena
    (Maintainer of Maypole, Author of Autodia and some other stuff on CPAN)

Re: What do you do for living?
by MadraghRua (Vicar) on Mar 08, 2006 at 22:11 UTC
    Currently in so much as I have had a custom services group that codes biological apps in a variety of languages, including Perl.
    I work at Invitrogen, mainly the team that has been responsible for Vector NTI (used to be InforMax). I started out with advanced support for enterprise bioinformatics apps, and the job sort of went on from there really. We tend to use C++, Java, Perl, Python - it really depends on what is most convenient.
    I have a BSc in Biochemistry, PhD Molecular Neurobiology and have been using Perl and Biology since 1996 or thereabouts.
    I suggest enjoying what you're doing while you can. These are good skills to have but supplement with chemoinformatics, ontology or systems biology projects if you can. Just as kits and premade enzymes are tools to be used in the experiments, the language is another means to an end, though a fun and awfully useful one at that.

    yet another biologist hacking perl....

Re: What do you do for living?
by dynamo (Chaplain) on Mar 10, 2006 at 21:36 UTC
    I've been doing pretty much just perl for over a decade. Mostly you run into the perl-only shops in web programming, or where a perl geek had flexibility to use whatever language, and chose to use perl (I did this a LOT in school, using perl instead of C, Tcl, Bash, and Sed).

    Of course, you should only do this when perl is actually at least arguably the best choice (almost always :)

    I'm currently working for StimTV. We use perl for a lot of the back end stuff.

Re: What do you do for living?
by jdtoronto (Prior) on Mar 14, 2006 at 17:18 UTC
    Contractor, mainly Perl these days, some HTML, JSP, CSS. 90%+ of my time is on Perl usually on Win32 or webapps on Linux/Apache.

    Masters in Electronics Engineering, Physics and Mathematics ands a BA in History. Totally self-taught programmer starting with Fortran about 1969.


Re: What do you do for living?
by geekgrrl (Pilgrim) on Mar 09, 2006 at 18:18 UTC
    I write Perl at Los Alamos National Laboratory for the Influenza Sequence Database. My group has a number of biological databases (HIV, HCV, Flu) and they all are written in Perl. woo hoo! In fact one of the databases might be looking for a student to code Perl.
    I write in Perl only, of course I have to do other stuff for a web app like Javascript or SQL, but Perl is the language in these here parts.
Re: What do you do for living?
by Qiang (Friar) on Mar 09, 2006 at 20:59 UTC
    BA in Com Science.
    I learned Java in school and learned Perl/Linux as my hobbies during the school year.

    now i am a Unix Sysadmin and my hobbies finally paid off. :) I use Perl for everything and anything in my job. command line and short scripts. I am fortunately to have a job that I love and get paid for.

    my current plan for Perl is to organize and host YAPC::China in the near future.

Re: What do you do for living?
by gloryhack (Deacon) on Mar 10, 2006 at 18:21 UTC
    I tried formal education and lost my taste for it very quickly.

    I've been a self-employed geek since 1996, without benefit of the occasional temp gig since 1998. I write perl all day and sometimes all night, too. My niche is web stuff, e-commerce (oh, how I hate that term!) in the main, with some system administration thrown in for flavor. It's a never-ending quest to discover the keystroke sequences that will make money appear in my mailbox.

Re: What do you do for living?
by Anonymous Monk on Mar 07, 2006 at 18:46 UTC
    "Yes", "B. Math (General)", and "Yes", respectively.


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