Welcome to the weekly series “Meet The Champion”.
Last week we spoke to Javier Luque, the winner of Perl Weekly Challenge - 037.
Today we are talking to the Perl Weekly Challenge - 038 winner Ryan Thompson. I hope you are going to enjoy the interview.
Mohammad: Tell us about your technical background?
Ryan: My interest in computing started as a hobby in the early ’80s, and got into MS-DOS freelance work around 1990. I then built a web hosting and development company before the days of turnkey servers. I got my degree in computer science while working unhealthy hours and being a family man with a 2 year old.
As the dot com bubble was bursting, I sold the company, learned to relax, and started doing embedded Unix/Linux systems development (C, ARM/x86 ASM), sysadmin automation (mostly Perl), project management, and a few other things over the years.
Mohammad: How/When did you start using Perl/Raku?
Ryan: I started using Perl in the context of sysadmin automation back in the mid ’90s. It didn’t take long for me to start using it for other projects, from dynamic websites to data analysis.
As for Raku, I followed the initial work on Perl 6 with interest from the start, and experimented with the early implementations like Pugs. Raku is a rich language, and these Weekly Challenges have been a great way to try out its many features and myriad ways to tackle a problem.
Mohammad: How did you come to know about “Perl Weekly Challenge”?
Ryan: It was a mention on Perlmonks. Unfortunately I only learned about it on Week 32. Otherwise, I would have joined much sooner!
Mohammad: What do you like the most about “Perl Weekly Challenge”?
Ryan: The reviews. Having many different solutions to the same problem is fantastic enough, but having competent people reviewing all of those solutions and putting them into context with each other is a rare thing.
Thanks in particular to Kian-Meng Ang and Laurent Rosenfeld for reviewing the Perl and Raku solutions week after week.
Mohammad: How much time you dedicate every week to “Perl Weekly Challenge”?
Ryan: My situation is a bit difficult, but I can usually manage one or two hours.
Mohammad: Do you checkout others solutions and who is your favourite?
Ryan: I have a very strict “no peeking” policy until I’ve sent my own pull request. But then I absolutely do start browsing. There is no way I am going to name a favourite, though, as I’ve seen something interesting from every participant.
Mohammad: What do you suggest someone just started the weekly challenge?
Ryan: Experiment. Regardless of your experience level, try something you wouldn’t ordinarily do. The challenges are simple enough that even if you are pressed for time, you can usually still manage to try a different algorithm, maybe even sneak in a rewrite. In my opinion, the challenges are a lot more fun and rewarding this way.
Mohammad: Anything else you would to like share with us?
Ryan: These challenges are a gift to the community. Thank You.
That brings the end of the conversation with Ryan Thompson. Please do let us know your view. We will come back next week with another champion.