Meet The Champion: Perl Weekly Challenge - 036

Monday, Dec 2, 2019| Tags: Perl


Welcome to the weekly series “Meet The Champion”.

Last week we spoke to Steven Wilson, the winner of Perl Weekly Challenge - 035.

Today we are talking to the Perl Weekly Challenge - 036 winner Duane Powell. I hope you are going to enjoy the interview.



Mohammad: Tell us about your technical background?

Duane: After getting a BS degree in Computer Science in 1985, I worked for a handful of defense contractors designing databases and writing programs in C. In the mid 90’s, I was going to night school for a masters in Information Engineering but dropped out to start a computer animation studio with some friends. That studio’s work was nominated for an Oscar in 2005 for the short comedy animation “Gopher Broke”.


Mohammad: How/When did you start using Perl/Raku?

Duane: I started using Perl in the late 90’s. Over the years as the studio grew from 3 computers on-prem to 3000 in IaaS, Perl became the super glue that held everything together. I love this language, it really makes programming fun. Shamefully instead of using CPAN, I wrote a ORM that sat on top of the Postgresql. A Perl daemon/job queue that the artists submitted their work too for rendering. I wrote a lot of Perl daemons using the ORM and rsync to wrangle the studio’s 4 petabytes of files: A backup system, a configuration management system, and a remote sync system so we could integrate offsite artist’s data into our pipeline. Big studios like Disney are paranoid about security, with Perl I was able to write an air-gapped network solution to move files between corporate and production LANs and pass their security audits.


Mohammad: How did you come to know about “Perl Weekly Challenge”?

Duane: I was Googling for Perl recipes and found Gabor Szabo’s Perl Weekly, that led me to the “Perl Weekly Challenge”.


Mohammad: What do you like the most about “Perl Weekly Challenge”?

Duane: I like reading other programmers code and learning new techniques.


Mohammad: How much time you dedicate every week to “Perl Weekly Challenge”?

Duane: I spend on average about 4 hours.


Mohammad: Do you checkout others solutions and who is your favourite?

Duane: I read the winners code. I usually check out Andrezgz, Laurent Rosenfeld, E. Choroba and Yet Ebreo’s solutions. Raku is fascinating so I like reading those solutions as well.


Mohammad: What do you suggest someone just started the weekly challenge?

Duane: Next time you get stuck where you can’t see the forest for the trees go take a solo walk, often you will see the solution or bug in your minds eye.


Mohammad: Anything else you would to like share with us?

Duane: Thank you so much for running the “Perl Weekly Challenge” and bringing programmers together. Perl is such a powerful tool and it’s nice to be part of the community that appreciates this great language.


That brings the end of the conversation with Duane Powell. Please do let us know your view. We will come back next week with another champion.



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