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Jobs and Certs

by WalkingZero (Sexton)
on Aug 18, 2007 at 22:12 UTC ( #633534=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I am kind of new to the whole Perl community. I just started learning Perl about 3 months ago during my breaks at work. I'm wondering how much work there is out there specifically in Perl, and if there are actual officially license Certifications out there that one should invest time in.

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Re: Jobs and Certs
by kyle (Abbot) on Aug 19, 2007 at 00:56 UTC

    I've been out looking for work recently and about a year ago. I can tell you a little about my experience, but consider running s/(\s+)/${1}YMMV${1}/g over this, mentally, as you're reading it.

    First, I used professionals. I hired someone to work on my resume, and I went through recruiters to find jobs. These decisions are not without their down sides, but they worked out well for me.

    Second, I'm working in the Chicago area, which has a lot of companies. A friend of mine once gestured around downtown. "See all those tall buildings? They all need people." If I were looking for Perl work in the more rural area that I grew up in, the search would never end.

    I didn't have too much trouble finding a job. One recruiter told me, "Perl is hard to find," meaning "Perl jobs go unfilled for a long time."

    I took a Brainbench test for Perl and did really well. A couple of recruiters required that (and that requirement came from an employer who required it), but I actually didn't think it was a very useful metric. I don't know much about any other Perl certifications, and I don't feel a need to look for any.

    And I repeat: YMMV

Re: Jobs and Certs
by derby (Abbot) on Aug 19, 2007 at 11:58 UTC

    As for jobs,, monster, dice, etc, etc, etc.

    As for certs, unlike other engineering professions, right now, IMHO, the only purpose of software certifications is to reduce the weight of the test takers wallet.

Re: Jobs and Certs
by dsheroh (Monsignor) on Aug 19, 2007 at 22:00 UTC
    I work as a freelancer rather than full-timing for anyone and have found that, while I see very little that specifically asks for Perl, I get favorable responses far more often than not when I respond to a PHP project with "this bid is for creation of Perl code that will do everything you want (and frequently more)". It works fairly well with other languages, too, but the vast majority of the stuff I've run across that is naturally suited to Perl, but requests another language, tends to be requesting PHP. (And I don't mean to suggest the "Perl is a web language" fallacy here - one of my current projects was originally looking for some PHP scripts to run from cron, which is just silly.)

    Obviously, I don't waste my time on that if it's something to be tightly integrated into an existing $other_language system, but a lot of people just heard somewhere that PHP/C/whatever is good and/or popular and request it without considering that something else (like, say, Perl) might be a better fit for what they want to achieve.

Re: Jobs and Certs
by TStanley (Canon) on Aug 19, 2007 at 17:35 UTC
    See here for another node on certifications

    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. -- George Orwell
Re: Jobs and Certs
by Mutant (Priest) on Aug 20, 2007 at 08:45 UTC

    As chromatic and others have written, there is a serious shortage of Perl programmers in London. The BBC (which does a lot of Perl) has even resorted to running free Perl training seminars. It may be similar in other parts of the world.

    The thing is, Perl is just not "cool" anymore, so people not into the latest buzz won't pay it any attention. But there's still a lot of code from the original dot com boom days around which needs to be maintained. It may not last, but right now, it's definitely good to be a Perl programmer.

Re: Jobs and Certs
by aufflick (Deacon) on Aug 20, 2007 at 12:44 UTC
    Your home node doesn't show your location, so it's hard to comment on the job situation - it is quite industry and location specific. If you find some financial institutions or publishing companies there are bound to be perl positions going. Take a look at the and whatever general job site serves your location.

    Certifications? If any applicants I review have certifications my tendancy is to be more sceptical of the rest of their CV. If you're a Cisco engineer, sure, certification is important, but not programming. I'd be more impressed that you had, say, read the back catalog of the perl journal, or perhaps built a website using a web framework of your choice. The second bonus of doing the latter is that you have some sample code to give recruiters - some employers ask to see that.

    Note that I'm not saying you can't test basic coding skills. I personally give all candidates who make it to first interview through a set of written tests and on-whiteboard interactive problems. If you've read the Camel book cover to cover and put some of it into practise in code you're in good shape.

Re: Jobs and Certs
by menolly (Hermit) on Aug 20, 2007 at 16:43 UTC

    Five years ago, I was out of work for six months, barely had any interviews for the first four months, but eventually had two offers at once. Non-Perl programmers I know were out of work for a year or more around that time.

    A year and a half ago, after I was laid off from the job I took at the end of the aforementioned search, it only took two months to land a job -- at a significantly higher salary. I was interviewing nearly every day, and had at least three more companies that were about to make offers when I accepted my current job.

    The market waxes and wanes, both month to month and year to year. I still get pinged by recruiters from time to time, so I'd say it's still pretty strong, at least in my area.

Re: Jobs and Certs
by bwelch (Curate) on Aug 21, 2007 at 15:09 UTC
    In discussions at work about hiring developers, certifications were never considered to be valuable. The general view was that while a certification might mean a candidate was 'book smart', whether they could apply those skills well and build good systems was in question.

    Bringing code samples was considered very helpful, as was clear descriptions of systems built with specific technologies. Those descriptions were also very useful in determining breadth of skills with specific languages. Some times a manager wants someone with specific skills to fit a certain role. Other times, they want someone that is more versatile and doesn't mind switching jobs between projects.
      I think the question is how important is certification at large corporations, where candidates have to make it through a non-technical Human Resources layer.

      I have seen where having Cisco certification can help for networking jobs and having SANS certification can help in the security field. And there are also the vendor ones where if your company has X number of certified personnel they get some extra discounts.

      But as far as Perl goes I do not think any certification out there is well known enough or respected enough to matter. If you do want to pursue some certification look for something that compliments your Perl skills.

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