Employers lament the fact that they can't hire enough Perl programmers to expand their businesses. People often ask me "How can we make more programmers?" at which point I often give a cliché answer of "Hire great people who fit with your team and expect to train them in your problem domain as well as the way you write good code." Then I tell them to download Modern Perl: the book and pass it around as a starting point.
That helps, but the Perl community could do a much better job of expanding the pool of programmers who know Perl by expanding the pool of programmers, period. I have much to write about this—thanks to a great discussion during my advocacy talk at YAPC—but we have a place to start.
Given everything that happened at YAPC::NA 2011, there's far too much to write about and far too much to consider before it's even possible to write about all of the goodness in the Perl community this year. Even so, one repeated refrain which gives me great hope is "Hi, I'm ____ and I work for ____ doing very cool things, and we're hiring.
I have some arm twisting to convince a couple of people to write up an article for Perl.com on the subject, but here's a definite hook to use on people new to programming:
A community full of bright, fun, clever toolsmiths and problem solvers wants to help you become a productive, employed, experienced developer.
Forget arguing with blub programmers who've already made their minds up based on grotty Perl 4-style code they saw somewhere once. Let's get some mentoring going, inside and outside of companies. There's a need. We have ways to meet that need.
(Due credit to events such as the free Perl training in London a couple of years ago. Let's do that again in more places! If your organization needs more developers, let's share some mentoring resources and ideas.)