Sunday 16 August 2015

Find your place in the Perl community

I’m putting together a panel at YAPC::EU to brainstorm ideas for ways to expand the Perl community. But this question kept going around in my head:

What is the Perl community?

With my notepad at hand I came up with this list of roles I could think of in the Perl community
  • C developers who implement Perl
  • Groups and individuals who contribute to CPAN
  • CPAN testers
  • IDE developers
  • Companies and individuals who donate
  • Companies who start new products and services promoting Perl
  • Recruiters who focus on Perl jobs
  • Organizers of Perl events
  • Media (including bloggers) focussed on Perl
  • Trainers who teach Perl
… and of course, Perl developers.

That describes many of the people in the community and yet, it still doesn't say what the community actually is. By happy coincidence on the tube to work the other day I was reading a book on Psychotherapy and Existentialism and it was defining community as the opposite of conformity and anonymity of the masses.
"A community needs personalities in order to be a real community and a personality again needs a community as a sphere of activity."
Viktor E. Frankl, ‘Collective Neuroses of the Present Day’, Lecture held at Princeton University, 17 September 1957.
Thinking about personality, adjectives like ‘collaborative’, ‘competitive’, ‘creative’, ‘passionate’, and ‘sharing’ came to mind as a description of people approaching common interests from different angles. Now from what I can tell - that all goes on like a house party, but I can’t remember - did anyone invite the neighbours?

Reach out and invite others into our community. As you can see from the list above - they don’t need to be writing code. Just invite them to participate in events, collaborate and bring their own expertise to projects. By the same token we should participate more in the wider circles to which we belong and that will draw people back into the Perl community.

† These are the roles the author didn't think of himself.


  1. Don't forget about those, who develops IDE for Perl :)
    Like this:

    1. Thank you for spotting a hole. I wonder how many others I've missed...

  2. And those who report news about the Perl world, natch. ;-)

  3. Perl Mongers?
    Perl Monks?
    Participants of those groups and people who discuss Perl-related questions on SO and other sites.
    People who install Perl-based products. (e.g. Bugzilla, Munin, etc)
    People who use Perl-based products and services. (everyone who ever used Booking or IMDB? :-)