Minimal Perl

1 day course
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"Minimal Perl"  1 days
Next Public Offering: TBD; Help Us Schedule! 

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Course Description

Perl is a wonderful language, which offers programmers a rich feature set, huge stylistic and syntactic liberties, and many ways to accomplish the same thing. But for the impatient beginner, these characteristics often translate into "too many complications, too much uncertainty, and too many choices!" Although Perl's motto is "There's More Than One Way to Do It", this class will teach students only one way -- the "Easiest Way"! (As featured in the Minimal Perl book.)

Students will learn a carefully selected minimal subset of Perl that gives immediate access to some of its powerful capabilities, and serves as a solid foundation for additional learning. The class's approach is based on the "Pattern/Action" model of programming, as featured in the influential AWK language. Upon completion of the class, students will have the necessary skills to convert files, validate data, perform numerical analyses, and generate simple reports in Perl.

Who Should Attend

This class is particularly well suited to individuals of the following types:
  • Non-Programmers (MIS managers, etc.), who want to gain a better understanding of why Perl is so popular with professional programmers, and learn to do basic data processing without learning too much or thinking too hard,

  • Near-Programmers, who are handy with the grep, sed, or awk commands, and want to expand their skills to include the premier "programmable filter", AND

  • Programmers, who don't want to learn enough to become Perl experts, but just enough to gain access to some of its special capabilities.

Those attending this course in a public offering need at least one month of prior experience with UNIX or Linux, and familiarity with one of the following text editors: vi, emacs, or pico (or another locally available editor, for on-site classes).

For those lacking prior experience with a character-oriented text editor, we recommend practicing a bit with pico, which you can download for free before class (look for a file whose name starts with "pine").

NOTE: We believe the approach used in this course provides the simplest method for rapidly teaching someone to do basic programming tasks. However, those having a more highly developed aptitude for logical thought will naturally experience better results.

Author & Instructor

Dr. Tim Maher has been working with the interpreted languages of UNIX since 1976, and considered AWK his favorite scripting language until Perl came along and eclipsed it.  He has written many sophisticated applications in AWK, Korn shell, C, C++, and Perl, including a user interface for U.C. Berkeley undergraduates and source code beautifiers for Perl and C++.  He is the CEO and Principal Instructor of CONSULTIX, for whom he has authored and taught 21 courses on a wide variety of software topics.

Tim is also the founder of the Seattle Perl Users Group (SPUG), one of the oldest PUGs on the planet and also the clear leader in attracting world-class Perl experts to its meetings. Consultix instructors are renowned for their ability to communicate complex concepts in simple terms and to make the study of dry technical material enjoyable.


Minimal Perl Fundamentals

Writing Perl Scripts

Using Patterns

Patterns with Actions

Manipulating Text

Processing Fields

Changing Text Files

Programming Applications

Text Processing

File Conversion

Data Validation

Report Generation

Other Courses

We have courses on many other Perl, UNIX, and Linux topics!

A former student says:

Read more testimonials and reviews of our courses and instructors.
•  The class was very well put together and organized … overall, the whole experience was worthwhile.
Mike Smitkin, Web Developer II, Washington Mutual Bank
Attended: Minimal Perl

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