Meet The Champion: October 2021

Sunday, Nov 7, 2021| Tags: Perl

Get to know about Paulo Custodio

Welcome to the monthly series Meet The Champion.

Last month we declared Jan Krnavek, the winner of September 2021.

Today we are talking to Paulo Custodio, the winner of October 2021 of The Weekly Challenge. I hope you are going to enjoy the interview.


Mohammad: Tell us about your technical background?

Paulo: I started with computers as a teenager with a Timex Sinclair 1000 (a ZX-81 clone) at home and a Commodore PET 8032 at school. At that time the programming language was BASIC and, in case of the Sinclair 1000, the slowness of the BASIC interpreter prompted me to learn to program in Z80 assembly language. Later I used a Spectrum 128K, a Sinclair QL with its unique Super Basic, and a Jupiter Ace with its Forth interpreter. In school we learned BASIC and PASCAL. Later I graduated as an Electrical Engineer and started my professional life as a software developer, mainly in C/C++ and 80x86 assembly, with some incursions in Java and in several scripting languages (mainly TCL, AWK, Bourne Shell and Perl 4). I do not develop software for a living any more, but I still use some of my free time programming computers mainly in C/C++ and Perl.


Mohammad: How/When did you start using Perl?

Paulo: I started with Perl 4 at work in the 1990’s developing configuration management tools to be used by the other developers. I learned Perl 5 and was an avid consumer of the O'Reilly books on the language. In my free time I worked on a few Perl Modules as a CPAN author and contributor, participating for some time in the Pull Request Challenge.


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

Paulo: I saw a reference to the Perl Weekly Challenge in the Perl Weekly newsletter by Gabor Szabo. At first, I decided that I would not have the time to work on the challenges and postponed my enrollment. Later I reverted that decision and started contributing.


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

Paulo: What I like the most about the Weekly Challenge is having a new puzzle to solve every week. Normally I tackle the Perl solution first, and then, if I have some more free time, I try to challenge myself by implementing the solution in Forth, a more primitive language where the solution is usually more difficult. Recently I have also used the past Weekly Challenges to practice programming in Python.


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

Paulo: Depends on my free time, but usually a couple of hours every week.


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

Paulo: No, not usually. I do this for the pleasure of problem solving, and looking at other solutions biases my thinking.


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

Paulo: TIMTOWTDI (There is more than one way to do it). No solution is more correct than another, and the main objective is that you have fun and learn something in the process.


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

Paulo: Thank you, Mohammad, for organizing the weekly challenge. It is a good opportunity to solve a different puzzle every week and to contribute to refute the claim that Perl is dead.


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


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