A popular lament heard from business is "It's difficult to find Perl 5 programmers!"
I can imagine that it's difficult to find good Perl 5 programmers. most of the really good ones I know have full-time equivalent employment (and plenty don't want to move to the greater London metro area for 20,000 GBP per year or San Francisco for $40,000 a year). It's also difficult to evaluate the skill of any self-proclaimed Perl 5 programmer; it's easy to write baby Perl, but it's not always easy to know how to become a better Perl programmer.
Three possibilities present themselves:
- Improve the ways in which they compete to find good Perl 5 programmers, such as offering larger salaries or telecommuting or better perquisites. (Few companies do this.)
- Give up. (Anecdotal evidence suggests some companies have done this; it's easy to throw a few thousand dollars a year to find cheap PHP development.)
- Train good programmers.
Five years ago, the latter might have been daunting. Now I can imagine that a motivated consultant could put together a customized hiring and training course for a specific company in a specific industry to identify the skills necessary (Perl and otherwise) for new hires as well as the skills necessary for existing developers.
I can imagine that new employees should read Perl Best Practices and should walk through Perl::Critic policies on their first day. I would love to see them handed a copy of Effective Perl Programming, 2e.
Perhaps I demonstrate no small hubris, but I hope that Modern Perl: The Book can fill in any of the gaps of an experienced (but still novice) Perl 5 programmer as well as explain how Perl 5 works to a new Perl 5 programmer. In short, my intent with the book is to help novices and neophytes become adepts. I believe we can achieve similar things with many of the tools developed during the Perl renaissance.
The important question is how to convince businesses to take advantage of this renaissance. In effect, we have to demonstrate that (like many other job skills) Perl 5 is something easy and effective to teach a motivated worker.