July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

Don't change languages. Change your language.

Damian Conway (Thoughtstream)
10:40am–11:20am Thursday, 07/23/2015
Foundations Portland 252
Tags: Perl
Average rating: ****.
(4.78, 23 ratings)

Prerequisite Knowledge

Some basic familiarity with Perl 5 or Perl 6 would be advantageous.


No programming language is perfect. Whether you develop in PHP or Perl, Jython or Java, Scala or sh, Clojure or Cobol, there’s something about your devlang that you find awkward and ungainly and difficult — some misfeature (or missing feature) that makes your job unnecessarily harder. Some construct or constraint that irritates you beyond all reason.

The grass often looks greener on the other side. You hear people raving about Haskell or Scala or Erlang or Groovy or Perl 6, and you wonder whether it might be better to migrate to one of those brave new worlds.

But to change your environment, you don’t always have to change planets. Most of the time, it’s vastly easier and more effective just to improve your existing planet.

In this talk, Damian will look at four major annoyances and blockers in one of his own favorite languages (Perl 5), and explain how he went about converting them into features and enablers…just by writing a little more Perl.

Photo of Damian Conway

Damian Conway


Damian Conway is an internationally renowned speaker, author, and trainer, and a prominent contributor to the Perl community. Currently he runs Thoughtstream, an international IT training company that provides programmer training from beginner to masterclass level throughout Europe, North America, and Australasia. Most of his spare time over the past decade has been spent working with Larry Wall on the design and explication of the Perl 6 programming language. He has a PhD in computer science and was until recently an adjunct associate professor in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University, Australia.