Meet The Champion: February 2022

Thursday, Mar 10, 2022| Tags: Perl, Raku

Get to know about Robert DiCicco.

Welcome to the monthly series Meet The Champion.

Last month we spoke to Alexander Pankoff, the winner of January 2022.

Today we are talking to Robert DiCicco, the winner of February 2022 of The Weekly Challenge. I hope you are going to enjoy the interview.

Mohammad: Tell us about your technical background?

Robert: I started back in the dark ages, 1986. I took a job as a System Administrator at a publishing company. I was left with a Unix box and a list of software that they wanted. I eventually ended up doing everything in C and shell. It was also a great Unix learning experience. Over the years I picked up Python, SQL, Bash, Ruby and Tcl. I eventually got my degree from an online university.

Mohammad: How/When did you start using Perl?

Robert: A friend of mine took a look at all of this C code and shell scripting I was doing, and said "Why aren't you using perl?". When I saw how cool it was, I was blown away. It became my number one tool. I eventually took a job with a large cell phone service provider, and Perl remained my primary language, along with Python, Bash and SQL.

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

Robert: I was looking for something about Perl in Google, and saw it. I was interested and after a few months decided to give it a try.

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

Robert: I like the idea that this is a place for people who really love programming. I am amazed by how skilled everyone is. I usually check out the code submissions looking for better ways to do things.

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

Robert: Well, I am retired so I have a lot of time. I usually spend two days on the problems. I am also trying to learn Raku, and I pore over all of the Raku entries. I think it will eventually be my primary language, if I can get better at it. Most of the Raku stuff I turn in is not that good, but it does work! I can only hope to become better at programming in Raku.

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

Robert: Yes, I check out all Raku submissions. My favorite is Laurent Rosenfeld. Not only does he know his stuff, but he is able to convey the information clearly in his blog. I always feel like I’ve learned something after checking out his blog posts. I also follow Gabor Szabo for perl stuff. And I go through the Perl submissions.

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

Robert: Take a shot at the problems. Check out the submissions and see how people solved them. It is a great way to learn.

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

Robert: I would like to thank you for the PWC. And I would like to thank everyone else for providing me a great learning opportunity.

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


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