Is a Perl Dead? – The view of a Perl Recruiter
The question I’m always asked as a Perl recruiter is whether Perl is dying? It’s an easy one to answer, and the short response is no. In fact it’s stronger than ever and there is serious demand for Perl jobs at all levels.
Although a number of languages, such as Ruby and Python, may be perceived as “cooler”, the Perl recruitment market continues to be extremely buoyant. As a Perl recruiter, this translates into plenty of jobs landing on my desk every week.
Most of these Perl jobs — around 90% — are created through growth, particularly in the UK, where the economy is finally rebounding. Companies are growing, and the role of the tech team is becoming ever more critical to organisational success. Suddenly, leadership teams everywhere are realising that IT is central to achieving corporate objectives and budgets are expanding for development teams.
This means that although there will always be some roles relating to legacy code, we are seeing a significant increase in companies investing in new IT projects, including new Perl development. This is creating excellent positions and opportunities for forward-thinking developers who are keen to forge a long-lasting and rewarding career within the sector.
Most importantly, although some companies have now moved to other platforms, a significant proportion have not – and have no plans to do so. This means that there are plenty of Perl roles around and they are not restricted to legacy work but cover new projects including exciting greenfield development. There are also a number of start-ups which are continuing to choose to use Perl. The net result? Job security for decent Perl developers for some time to come.
The outlook for the Perl marketplace is very much in the hands of the developer community. Roles will continue to grow if more developers choose to learn Perl and to maintain and build upon their knowledge of the language. The question as to how developers can be attracted to using the language is being increasingly asked, particularly with academia seemingly focusing upon Java and Python. There is a need to create a similar buzz with Perl in order to inspire a new generation of hungry and tech-savvy Perl developer professionals.
Sawyer X at YAPC::Europe suggests that those who create solution elements in Perl should share their output with the wider developer community, assisting in skills transfer and energising the marketplace.
We can thus keep the industry growing in the UK. Building visibility will ensure that this proven language will remain prominent in the minds of business tech buyers and those seeking entry into the Perl developer market alike. Current figures suggest that the Perl market is stable and has strong prospects for growth in both the UK and in Europe.
Eligo is in the process of setting up the Perl Academy, with planned visits to universities in order to talk about Perl and the associated employment opportunities. There will also be a senior developer present who can evangelise about what can be achieved. Interested students will be invited to attend a training course, to help them into internships and, ultimately, a long and fruitful career within Perl.
To find out more about this programme, please contact Rick: @PerlRick or on Rick@eligo.co.uk
In conclusion, there has never been a better time to be a Perl developer and the future prospects for this sector seem better than ever. Let’s not sit on the fence – instead, we look forward to the new programme, encouraging both new and existing developers and the wider business community into giving Perl the recognition it truly deserves.