Meet The Champion: Perl Weekly Challenge - 019

Wednesday, Aug 7, 2019| Tags: Perl, Raku

Welcome to the weekly series “Meet The Champion”.

Last week we spoke to E. Choroba, the winner of Perl Weekly Challenge - 018. Today we are talking to the Perl Weekly Challenge - 019 winner Arne Sommer. I hope you are going to enjoy the interview.

Mohammad: Tell us about your technical background?

Arne: I started programming in about 1982, when I bought an Atari 400 computer. I enjoyed programming so much that I made a career of it. I have a master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Oslo in Norway.

Mohammad: How/When did you start using Perl/Raku?

Arne: I actually started with Perl 3 in 1989. I wrote a lot of shell scripts in my early days at the University, but was frustrated by the syntax. Perl stood out as the prefect scripting “glue language”, and I was hooked. I still am.

I moved to Perl 5 in 1994, and started programming Perl 6 in 2015. I still do Perl 5 stuff, but prefer Perl 6 for new projects.

Mohammad: How did you come to know about “Perl Weekly Challenge”?

Arne: The excellent Perl 6 Weekly ( after the first challenge. (So I missed that first one.)

Mohammad: What do you like the most about “Perl Weekly Challenge”?

Arne: The varying difficulties of the challenges. This isn’t always obvious by just reading the text, so there is an element of discovery here.

Mohammad: Is there any thing you would like to change?

Arne: Not really.

Mohammad: How much time you dedicate every week to “Perl Weekly Challenge”?

Arne: I just start by reading the new challenge each Monday morning, and takes it from there. Some weeks I do spend too much time on it, but I enjoy it too much…

Mohammad: Do you checkout others solutions and who is your favourite?

Arne: I read most of the Perl 6 blogs. It is nice to see other solutions that are similar to what I have done, and it is nice to see solutions that differ. I still have a lot to learn about Perl 6, and this is an excellent way of doing it.

I don’t really have any favourite, except Damian. But he is in a class of his own.

Mohammad: What do you suggest someone just started the weekly challenge?

Arne: Just go for it.

Mohammad: Do you find the website user friendly? What do you like most?

Arne: The menus are missing when used on a mobile phone. The site structure can become a pain when the number of articles increses, but this can be fixed by adding a new page with links to all the challenges, solutions, recaps and interviews. It would make for a nice table.

I particularly like the Weekly Reviews. Both of them. Getting different points of view is great.

Mohammad: Anything else you would like share with us?

Arne: I am impressed that you have managed to keep it up this long. I started my Perl 6 blog (at before reading about the Perl Weekly Challenge, and would have run out of topics for my weekly blogs a long time ago if it hadn’t been for the challenges.

But I am also a little concerned, as I fear that I may have become addicted to the challenges :-)

That brings the end of the conversation with Arne Sommer. Please do let us know your view. We will come back next week with another champion.


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