FAQ
surfunbear at yahoo.com asked
3. Perl is installed on our system and a lot of other systems.
You don't have to make sys admins go out of there way to make it
available. It's usualy allready there. I also did a search of job
postings on a popular website. 108 jobs where listed that require
knowledge of Perl, only 17 listed required Python. Becomeing more
familiar with Perl might then be usefull for ones resume ?
Python is trivial to install on one's workstation or PC, if it isn't already there. Getting Python on the company's servers can require some IT latitude or buy-in.

<opinion>

I've begun to view the availability of Python on company servers as a measure of an IT organization's fitness.

Perl was (probably) the right language at the right time at least for cgi work and text processing in the early days of the web, when there was a sudden increase in the need for such work. And Perl "works", especially as you become familiar with it and some of the non-obvious ways it works. Learning Perl is an investment and many folks becomes Perl people - why would you switch from anything you've put that much time into?

And so a vast number of people and orgnizations remain in the cave, unwilling to risk going outside, unwilling to believe life could be better out there in the unknown. Congrats for being the rare person who takes a look. (That strange feeling you may get is from something we call "sunshine" and, on balance, I think you'll find it is a very nice thing.)

If Python is better than Perl, I'm curious how really significant
those advantages are ?
I'd say the advantages are significant if you develop anything complex, or like to think about the software you develop in clean abstractions. I'd say knowing Python probably does not lead to a higher salary, but that the software engineers attracted to Python tend to be the cream of the crop and are worth more money.


[Disclaimer: Python also attracts some who are not cream of the crop software engineers but rather see things - applications, large or small - that ought to be done, and are looking for the most efficient way of getting there. Anyone can write some Python succssfully, but not everyone is capable of contributing to PyPy. Python is a great tool for each.]

</opinon>

Recommendation: Python requires little investment. Play in it. Read (briefly) about the aspects that seem interesting. Try writing a small progam in it. There are very very few cases where anyone is going to require you to use Python; it's a personal decision, and the people that use Python do so because they want to, not because someone required them to.


cheers/

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