Perl School

On Saturday, I ran the first Perl School session. Twenty-five programmers with little or no previous experience of Perl came along to Google Campus in London and listened to me talking about Perl.

Over six hours I tried to give a good introduction to Modern Perl. In the morning I talked about the core Perl language and explained some of the concepts (for example, context) where Perl differs from most other programming languages. In the afternoon I talked about some of the important big CPAN projects that are defining Modern Perl – things like Moose and PSGI.

The course was free as it was all a bit experimental. I was trying to work out how much material I could get through in a day and what topics would be most useful for the attendees. Many lessons were learned.

  1. There was slightly too much in the course. Things got a little rushed towards the end. I might need to cut a bit of material before running it again. Or perhaps I just need to waffle on a bit less.
  2. When you book a room you should ask how the seating will be configured. I turned up at about 9:15, expecting I’d just need to get to grips with the projector system. I found the room set up with chairs around a central table. It was a bit of a rush to turn that into a lecture theatre before the students arrived.
  3. Some people don’t value free training. There were fifty places available on the course. They were all booked within 24 hours of the date being announced. Over the intervening couple of months, a few people dropped out and were replaced by people from  the waiting list. That’s not a problem. In the 24 hours before the course I received five emails from people saying that they couldn’t come for various reasons. That’s not a problem either. What’s a problem is the twenty or so people who just didn’t bother to turn up and didn’t think it worthwhile to let me know.

I’m doing it all over again in October. Same course (slightly improved, I hope) art the same venue. This time it won’t be free – but I’m hoping that a fee of £30 will be cheap enough that people will still sign up.

And I’m planning more courses for the future. Initially, I plan to run something every couple of months. I’m thinking about one-day courses in Database Programming, Object Oriented Programming and Web Programming. Hopefully some of my readers will be interested to come along to some of that.

I hope to announce the subject and date of another course within a couple of weeks. It’ll probably be in early December. Watch the web site or the mailing list for details as soon as I have them.

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