Learning CaCO3

December 1, 2010

In case you are wondering, and are too lazy to head over to Google, CaCO3 is the chemical formula for a pearl. With that tidbit of information in hand it shouldn’t be too hard to guess that in this post I am going to tell you that I have decided to start learning Perl.

This all started a few days before (American) Thanksgiving when I was a little bored and didn’t feel like doing course work. Originally the plan was to learn Python, but somehow I ended up reading stuff about Perl and was hooked. There are quite a few online tutorials out there to help you get started, some better than other in my opinion. For me the problem was finding one that was targeted at my level and could keep my interest. Sure I didn’t know how to program in Perl but I knew C++ and some Java and after seeing a few examples of Perl realized that the syntax wasn’t all that different. So the tutorials that held your hand while explaining what a variable was got boring rather quickly.

In the ended I chose to follow one that skipped all the “baby stuff” and just said, “Suppose you had problem X to solve. This is one way you could attack it.” Then it would provide some lines of code explain what a few key words meant and leave you to figure out why and how it worked. The only time the tutorial didn’t stick to this format was when they introduced regular expressions. The first paragraph for that section explained what a regular expression was and did a little hand holding. But after that it was back to “figure it out yourself from example code” business as usual.

The one thing that was beat into me was that there is always more than 1 way to do something. Also whenever in doubt of if something is possible I remember this quote “Can I do that? OF COURSE, THIS IS PERL!”

Well off to learn more Perl and write more scripts.