Welcome to the monthly series “Meet The Champion”.
Last month we spoke to Saif Ahmed, the winner of February 2020.
Today we are talking to Alicia Bielsa, the winner of March 2020 of “Perl Weekly Challenge”. I hope you are going to enjoy the interview.
Mohammad: Tell us about your technical background?
Alicia: I studied Humanities and did not start learning about computers until I was in my thirties. Until then I worked at coffee shops, restaurants and in a bank. In 2007, I was lucky to be able to participate in a program that aimed to integrate graduates from other disciplines into the IT Industry. This consisted a one year training course in Belfast Metropolitan College. From then on I’ve worked in various posts in the IT Industry in Belfast, London and Spain. I’ve learned quite a lot at work and also in on-line courses and tutorials.
Mohammad: How/When did you start using Perl/Raku?
Alicia: I started using Perl in the year 2013 when I got a job as Perl Programmer. I learned checking online tutorials and using Perl Critic for guidance. I’ve used Perl in most of the jobs I’ve had since and it’s definitely my top favorite programming language. At the moment I’m trying to learn Raku with the weekly challenge and doing the Raku track in Exercism which I’m finding to be a very useful site.
Mohammad: How did you come to know about “Perl Weekly Challenge”?
Alicia: I think I read about it in the Gabor Szabo‘s Perl Weekly Newsletter.
Mohammad: What do you like the most about “Perl Weekly Challenge”?
Alicia: It gives me a chance to remember why I like programming. Work can be quite dull, but the Weekly Challenge is always fun.
Mohammad: How much time you dedicate every week to “Perl Weekly Challenge”?
Alicia: I try to think about the challenges on the train on my way to work Monday morning and I might write some pseudo-code in a notebook. I will discuss the challenges with my work colleague and fellow contributor Cristina Heredia. Usually I’ll do the challenges on the weekend, I would say it can take me 1-2 hours each to code if I don’t get stuck, but it really depends on how difficult the task is.
Mohammad: Do you checkout others solutions and who is your favourite?
Alicia: I always try to read the review. In the last week’s I liked Colin Crain‘s solution as it is easy to read and has lots of comments. It is great to see the different ways people do things. :-)
Mohammad: What do you suggest someone just started the weekly challenge?
Alicia: Use it to learn and to have fun. The reviewers comments are always very kind and useful and you can learn lots from other people’s solutions.
Mohammad: Anything else you would to like share with us?
Alicia: Thanks to everyone that makes this challenge possible, it is the highlight of my week. It is great to see that there are more people that loves Perl than I do.
That brings the end of the conversation with Alicia Bielsa. Please do let us know your view. We will come back next month with another champion.