Introduction to Perl programming for information professionals

Simmons College GSLIS Continuing Education Program – Saturday, October 14, 2006.


Do you find yourself performing tedious tasks and wishing you knew how to write a program to automate them? Perl is an accessible programming language that allows you to do timesaving tasks, like making a single change in hundreds of files, or handling forms submitted on your website, or sorting, sifting, and compiling data. This workshop will give you the skills you need to begin writing Perl programs to accomplish some of these tasks, and to feel comfortable customizing Perl programs written by others.

Learning a programming language can be a daunting experience, so we will start slowly, covering the basics: strings and arrays, loops, conditional statements, and working with files. As the workshop progresses, we will move on to more powerful capabilities: subroutines, hashes, error handling, and simple regular expressions. We will work together on practical exercises to familiarize you with the syntax of Perl and show you how you might use it to create programs to solve problems of your own. You will learn by listening, watching, and doing – and by making mistakes – and will have the opportunity to ask questions.

The workshop will conclude with an introduction to advanced topics such as modules and objects. Attendees should have some familiarity with variables and simple logic, the building blocks of programming; the only other prerequisite is a sense of curiosity.

Workshop materials

Perl basics: a concise guide

Input files


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