Welcome to the weekly series “Meet The Champion”.
Last week we spoke to Scimon Proctor, the winner of Perl Weekly Challenge - 027.
Today we are talking to the Perl Weekly Challenge - 028 winner Andrezgz. I hope you are going to enjoy the interview.
Mohammad: Tell us about your technical background?
Andrezgz: I’ve been close to computers since I was 8. My first programming experience came with Basic, then Logo (yeah, with the turtle) and then branched out to dBase, DOS networks. With a lot of dedication and effort I’ve earned a degree in both System Analysis and Information Systems Engineering from the National Technological University (UTN) in Argentina. I’m fascinated with networking and databases, too. You could say I am a “broad spectrum” person :). Nowadays, I work as development manager in a mid-sized IT company, using Perl5 and Python to provide staff training / e-learning solutions.
Mohammad: How/When did you start using Perl/Raku?
Andrezgz: I’ve heard about Perl5 around 2006. My first job ever was being a junior tester and I’ve got involved with the code when I advanced in my career. I began to solve some minor problems, after a close examination of the changes when tests failed. In the last 10 years my interest and knowledge on it kept increasing. I love analyzing performance issues and giving recommendations to clarify the code and improve its maintainability.
Perl6 appeared on my radar a few years ago, but I’ve only seen true code through Perl Weekly Challenge. Sometimes, it seems that you can code almost as you speak.
Mohammad: How did you come to know about “Perl Weekly Challenge”?
Andrezgz: Probably reading some post on a blog about Perl or development in general. My RSS feeds are full of them!
Mohammad: What do you like the most about “Perl Weekly Challenge”?
Andrezgz: This kind of project is ideal for exposing a language as vast as Perl in a practical way: solving tasks. It’s okay to share knowledge but it’s better when you get your hands on it. Reviewing other participants’ code opens my mind to alternative ways of thinking, Perl modules I’ve never seen, etc. This is how I got to know e.g. Memoize, and I used it when I’ve got the opportunity in the followings tasks.
Mohammad: Is there any thing you would like to change?
Andrezgz: Not much. Maybe I’d rather focus on real world tasks like csv processing, one-liners, regex parsing, etc. But the variety today is the right one. Some tasks make me sweat, and others let me flow.
Mohammad: How much time you dedicate every week to “Perl Weekly Challenge”?
Andrezgz: I read the new challenge on Sunday evenings, before going to sleep. When I wake up on Mondays, I prepare my scripts with guidelines to code in the afternoon after work. Best case scenario, I get my solutions done and tested within a couple of hours. But it really depends on the tasks and my personal agenda. Complex ones may take up to 6 hours! I do not consider myself an expert, so I think it’s fine.
Mohammad: Do you checkout others solutions and who is your favourite?
Andrezgz: I thoroughly inspect Kian-Meng Ang reviews every week. I used to do the same with your weekly RECAP. The tips you give there are essential to get inside the solutions and compare them.
There are no favorites for now, but I like being among a lot of renowned names!
Mohammad: What do you suggest someone just started the weekly challenge?
Andrezgz: Don’t be afraid of your coding skills. Take the last challenge and submit your solution. It’s fine if you decide to tackle the first task only.
Remember to review other people’s code and try their solutions. Some of them have related blog posts and excellent comments inside (not all of mine, though)
Mohammad: Do you find the website user friendly? What do you like most?
Andrezgz: It’s nice and simple, some minor issues on mobile browsers with the menu (other champions also mentioned this).
It would be great to rethink the front page: perhaps embed this week’s challenge, or some previous task and a link to its solution on a blog post or the github repo.
Mohammad: Anything else you would to like share with us?
Andrezgz: I’d like to thank you and the entire team behind Perl Weekly Challenge for creating and keeping this place running which allows us to share our Perl code with the world.
That brings the end of the conversation with Andrezgz. Please do let us know your view. We will come back next week with another champion.