November 12, 2009

Intro to Perl, Learn to Read Perl

When you set out to learn a new language, do you start out by writing an essay? Of course not! So why try to learn to program or write test scripts that way? This presentation compares Perl programming structure to the english language and starts at the beginning – learning to read. Once one learns to read, then one can start to learn to copy code snippets, and then to explore and experiment. Learn how Perl has a sentence structure, style, idioms, and nearly as many exceptions and quirks as the english language. We will play games, find shortcuts, and provide a list of free resources you can use to further your Perl education.

This is an introductory level presentation for the person who wants to learn a scripting language for test administration, automation, and reporting. It is an overview of the Perl language oriented toward those with no programming skills or background. If you are familiar with other programming languages or scripting languages this session may be too basic for you, but you are welcome to attend, ask questions, and learn from the handouts and links. This presentation assumes that you can use windows, download files and programs, install files and programs, unzip a .zip archive, and use a web browser.

Ron Winters is a Software QA Manager at Serena Software Inc. where he is responsible for the Mainframe products. He has been using Perl for over a decade for Unix system administration, test scripting, test reporting, and test analysis. Ron has taught several internal Perl classes and presentations and considers Perl to be the swiss army knife of scripting languages.