Meet The Champion: May 2022

Sunday, Jul 3, 2022| Tags: Raku

Get to know about Robert Ransbottom.

Welcome to the monthly series Meet The Champion.

Last month we spoke to Matthew Neleigh, the winner of April 2022.

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

Mohammad: Tell us about your technical background?

Robert: I read most of a brief computing-101-ish book at a book store one afternoon. I have read a little more since.

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

Robert: There was some management interest in computerizing the workplace’s paperwork. I thought some small unix variant seemed like the only reasonable platform that could be scaled up if ever necessary. I got sent home with a luggable and SCO Xenix to learn about. So I learned how to use and SA re-branded unix and to munge data with sh, sed and awk.

I went down the rabbit hole and it became a hobby since the intention to computerize faded away. But the munging got me into Perl, and trying to write larger scripts got me out of Perl until strict put a collar on that cur, Auto-vivification.

Before Perl 5, I learnt mostly C, C++, Sather and CRUDdy SQL. Since 5, I focused on Perl and SQL; until in the last couple of years, my attention has been on learning Raku. I was interested in Perl 6 from its announcement, gleening what I might from the synopses, etc.

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

Robert: I don’t recall precisely, two people mentioned it shortly before I started.

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

Robert: The Perl and Raku focus.

The tension in some challenges amongst the general task scaled up, the specific task as sized, and the occasional need to provide some justification or specific presentation.

Lacking much math, I sometimes appreciate the opportunity to learn some. I enjoy seeing people here of whom I have a good opinion from my being in the fringe of the Perl community. It is nice compare my work against some excellent work. Less important at present but enjoyable: learning about other languages is facilitated by looking solutions to problems which you have solved.

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

Robert: I have gone up to 16 hours with rewrites. I am usually in the 4 to 8 hour range. I would not affirm I "dedicate time" to the WC, but since I use it as a tool to learn Raku, I won’t deny it either. Time may be spent scouring the docs for a feature or syntax (and chasing other ‘shiny’s that come to view). In 166’s K-Directory Diff, I spent a lot of time looking for features to eliminate tedious code. Here ‘tedious code’ is intertwined, loopy code with fence posts that are not obviously on the property line. I did succeed in transforming tedious code, but only into other tedious code.

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

Robert: I do but not always. As of yet, I have not developed favorites, mostly I look for alternate ways to dissect the problem, good phrasing, and epiphanies.

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

Robert: Have fun and recognize you are your best competitor.

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

Robert: Yes, let me get this off my chest: If all you have is a hammer and everything looks like a nail, you don’t know much about hammers.

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


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