Yesterday was the Perl Teach-In at the BBC. People have been saying for months (years probably) that Perl is dying. If that’s true, then I’d like to know why the fifty places on the course were fully booked in less than two days and why another forty people signed up to be on the waiting list.
Perl certainly isn’t dead. On the contrary, the demand for Perl programmers in London is greater than I’ve seen it for many years - just take a look at the archives for London.pm’s jobs mailing list.
So that’s why fifty or so Perl programmers were willing to spend one of the hottest Saturdays of the year hidden away in a BBC conference room listening to me talking about Perl. It was particularly gratifying to see that most of them were people that weren’t already involved in London.pm or any part of the Perl community. It’s always been my belief that the majority of people who use Perl regularly aren’t part of the Perl community - so it was good to be able to reach out to some of these people and encourage them to join us.
The day seemed to be successful. Pretty much everyone told me that they enjoyed themselves and that they found it useful. That makes it very likely that something similar will happen again in the future. But no firm plans have been made yet.
I’ve put the slides online and they’re under a Creative Commons licence so that anyone else can use them to run a similar course in their city. The presentation was also recorded (well, until the microphone batteries ran out twenty minutes before the end) and those recordings will go online at some point in the next week or so.
All in all, I’m very pleased with how it all went. It was an interesting experiment and I’m glad that it all worked out so well. Thanks to all the attendees for turning up and to London.pm and BBC Backstage for their help in organising the event.