Meet The Champion: November 2020

Tuesday, Dec 22, 2020| Tags: Perl

Get to know about Simon Green

Welcome to the monthly series Meet The Champion.

Last month we spoke to Andrew Shitov, the winner of October 2020.

Today we are talking to Simon Green, the winner of November 2020 of The Weekly Challenge. I hope you are going to enjoy the interview.

Mohammad: Tell us about your technical background?

Simon: I’ve always had an interest in software development, even as a kid on an Amstrad CPC 664. The specs were 360kB floppy disk, 64kB RAM, 4 MHz CPU. How did we ever survive? :P

After high school I worked on the helpdesk at an ISP. This was in 1995 when you had to explain to your parents what the Internet was.

Mohammad: How/When did you start using Perl?

Simon: Within a year of starting at the ISP, I moved to the programming team which was my first introduction to Perl. Since then Perl has been the main programming language in my jobs, although I am using Python a lot more now too.

I’ve also had an interest in System Administration, and obtained an RHCSA while working at Red Hat. More recently I’m a huge fan of Dev Ops, including Automation, Docker and CI/CD, etc.

Mohammad: How did you come to know about The Weekly Challenge?

Simon: I didn’t actually start doing the challenge until week 68. I have subscribed to Gabor’s (and others) Perl Weekly Newsletter since issue 13. The newsletter always had recaps of the previous challenges, and I decided it was time to join in on the fun.

Mohammad: What do you like the most about The Weekly Challenge?

Simon: Two things.

  1. Solving the tasks. Some are pretty straight forward and others require a bit of thought before I put fingers on the keyboard. This week is a classic example. The first task took about 10 minutes to write and test. The second task took a tad over an hour and a bit of trial and error.
  2. Reading other people’s solutions, especially those that have a blog post.

Mohammad: How much time you dedicate every week to The Weekly Challenge?

Simon: For completing the tasks and blog, about one to 2 hours each week, usually on a Monday evening. I also usually spend about half an hour on Sunday looking at other solutions and blog posts.

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

Simon: I do, but never before I submit my own solution. It doesn’t seem fair to single out a few people, but I really love Abigail’s solution and his blog posts (which are always excellent reading), and Roger Bell West usually has solutions very similar (or better) to my own.

I also occasionally read the Ruku solutions to see how crazy insane some of the syntax is, and Python solutions to sharpen my Python knowledge.

Mohammad: What do you suggest someone just started The Weekly Challenge?

Simon: Just do it. There are no right or wrong answers. You don’t need to do both tasks, and some beginners might prefer to do just the first task (which is usually easier). I’ve also read there is a Perl mentor group on Facebook. I’m not on Facebook, so I don’t know the details.

Mohammad: Anything else you would to like to share with us?

Simon: A huge thank you to yourself for the time you spend each week setting the challenge and handling commits and merge requests. A big thank you to Colin Crane for doing the weekly Perl Review. Also a thanks to the Perl Careers team for the reward.

And finally a thank you and appreciation to every single Team PWC member who submits solutions each week.

That brings the end of the conversation with Simon Green. Please do let us know your view. We will come back next month with another champion.


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