Tech skill

Perl Skills

All about Perl

What is Perl?

Perl is a high-level general-purpose language developed in 1987 used for things from GUIs, to systems administration to finance. Commonly used in the first .com boom, Perl skills provided a degree of flexibility, power, and safety that few languages had then. Notable members of the Perl community include Damian Conway and Randal L Schwartz.

More recently, many developers have replaced Perl with Python. Mostly because Python is preferred in matching and substitution. Most in the community consider Perl to be nearly extinct. Unless tasked with maintaining a legacy system, a developer is probably better off focusing on more modern languages and tech skills in demand, like Python, Java, AWS, Ruby on Rails, or React.

Hired’s State of Software Engineer’s report is now an article series focused on Software Engineer Trends featuring:

What to use Perl for

  • Text Processing: Perl excels at text processing tasks, including pattern matching, regular expressions, string manipulation, file I/O, and report generation, making it ideal for tasks such as data extraction, log parsing, and text formatting.
  • System Administration: Perl is widely used for system administration tasks such as system monitoring, log analysis, configuration management, and automation scripts, thanks to its rich set of system-related modules and its ability to interact with system utilities and APIs.
  • Web Development: Perl can be used for web development, particularly for creating dynamic web applications and server-side scripts using CGI (Common Gateway Interface) or modern frameworks like Dancer, Mojolicious, and Catalyst, enabling developers to build web applications with Perl’s power and expressiveness.
  • Network Programming: Perl has strong support for network programming, with modules for creating network clients and servers, handling network protocols (e.g., TCP/IP, UDP), and performing network-related tasks such as DNS resolution, socket programming, and HTTP communication.
  • Automation and Scripting: Perl is a popular choice for automation and scripting tasks, enabling developers to write scripts and utilities to automate repetitive tasks, perform batch processing, and integrate with other systems and tools, thanks to its concise syntax and powerful built-in features.

What is a Perl developer?

  • Scripting Specialist: A Perl developer is a scripting specialist who specializes in using Perl for text processing, system administration, web development, and automation tasks.
  • Proficient in Perl: A Perl developer is proficient in Perl programming language, including its syntax, data types, control structures, regular expressions, and built-in functions, enabling them to write concise, efficient, and maintainable code.
  • Unix/Linux Skills: A Perl developer typically has strong Unix/Linux skills, including command-line usage, shell scripting, system administration tasks, and familiarity with Unix/Linux utilities and tools, which complement Perl’s strengths in system-related tasks and automation.
  • Problem Solver: A Perl developer is a problem solver who excels at solving complex problems and implementing solutions using Perl, whether it’s parsing log files, processing text data, automating system tasks, or building dynamic web applications.
  • Continuous Learner: A Perl developer is a lifelong learner who stays updated with the latest advancements in Perl language, modules, libraries, and best practices, and actively seeks opportunities for learning and professional development to enhance their skills and stay competitive in the field.

Most important Perl developer skills

  • Perl Programming: Mastery of Perl programming language and its core features, including regular expressions, pattern matching, file I/O, data structures, and built-in functions, enabling developers to write efficient, maintainable, and expressive Perl code for a wide range of tasks.
  • Unix/Linux Expertise: Strong expertise in Unix/Linux operating systems, command-line usage, shell scripting, system administration tasks, and familiarity with Unix/Linux utilities and tools, enabling developers to leverage Perl’s strengths in system-related tasks and automation on Unix/Linux platforms.
  • Text Processing: Proficiency in text processing techniques and tools in Perl, including regular expressions, string manipulation, file parsing, and report generation, for handling text data effectively and efficiently in various applications such as log analysis, data extraction, and text formatting.
  • Web Development with Perl: Experience in web development with Perl, including CGI programming, web server configuration, and modern Perl web frameworks like Dancer, Mojolicious, and Catalyst, enabling developers to build dynamic and interactive web applications with Perl’s power and expressiveness.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Strong problem-solving skills for analyzing complex problems, designing effective solutions, and implementing them using Perl, whether it’s automating system tasks, processing large datasets, building web applications, or integrating with other systems and tools.

Why should you hire Perl developers?

  • Versatility and Flexibility: Perl developers offer versatility and flexibility for a wide range of tasks, including text processing, system administration, web development, automation, and scripting, thanks to Perl’s expressive syntax, powerful features, and extensive ecosystem of modules and libraries.
  • Efficiency and Productivity: Perl developers enable you to accomplish tasks quickly and efficiently, thanks to Perl’s concise syntax, powerful built-in features, and rich ecosystem of modules and libraries, enabling rapid prototyping, iteration, and delivery of solutions to complex problems.
  • Reliability and Robustness: Perl developers help you build reliable and robust applications, thanks to Perl’s mature and stable nature, extensive testing and quality assurance practices, and strong community support, ensuring the stability and performance of your Perl applications in production environments.
  • Legacy Support and Maintenance: Perl developers provide legacy support and maintenance for existing Perl applications and systems, ensuring their continued operation and compatibility with evolving technologies and platforms, and helping you modernize and optimize your Perl codebase for future needs.

Assess tech candidates for Perl skills

Looking for candidates skilled in Perl? Technical assessments are a multi-pronged solution. They allow you to streamline the hiring process and reduce bias with tech skill-focused benchmarks. 

Hired Assessments offers a library of hundreds of questions and customizable coding challenge campaigns tailored to technical preferences. Centralize and standardize your evaluation process as you surface top talent with specific, hard-to-find skills.

See how Mastercard and Axon used Hired Assessments to vet top candidates. See more Hired Customer Success Stories.

Are you interested in a new tech job in programming or software development?

Hired helps tech jobseekers around the world find new roles with growing companies. Here’s the breakdown of the (totally free) process for jobseekers. If you’re not ready to apply for the platform, visit our events page for webinars on demand and any upcoming coding challenges. Review our resources for jobseekers for career guidance.

Perl resources

Check out our partners to refresh your Perl skills. Many provide bootcamps and other opportunities for learning or brushing up technical skills.

Hired profiles help developers showcase their top tech skills

After passing Hired skills assessments, candidates have the chance to showcase their skills to employers. They can opt to present an ‘Assessments’ badge on their profile. Candidates may take various assessments including Programming Skills, Full Stack, Backend, Frontend, iOS, Android, Debugging, Dev Ops Generalist, and Dev Ops AWS.

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