Learning Perl

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Publisher: O'Reilly Media

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At my first job, working on one of Unilever’s multilingual IT helpdesks, I mentioned to one of my more technical colleagues James that I had used to enjoy programming before studying literature. He lent me a copy of Learning Perl. The book was funny but not not over-cutesy, well paced and clearly explained. And Perl itself was a revelation: concepts like “truthiness”, the implicit topic variables, and context showed me a language that was compact and powerful, pragmatic yes but oddly elegant too. As an introductory guide, I’m unlikely to ever re-read it, but given that 15 years later I am still working as a programmer, largely with Perl, it’s safe to say it was an influential book.

-- Hakim Cassimally

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