Before we sell a product, we first need to learn something about the people who we are selling to. At the same time, we need to focus on our strengths.
Here, I'm going to try to categorize the Perl market, so that we can decide which one to focus on, and work on it.
One way to categorize is -
- Existing users
- New users
We want both to use Perl for new projects. And we want existing users to stay with Perl on their current projects.
- Perl project maintainers
- Job creators / Managers / Decision makers on new projects
- Job seekers / Programmers / Testers
- Open Source project creators / maintainers
- System Administrators
- Computer Science teachers
Each of these markets has different requirements, and we need to focus on different things while selling to each of them.
For a manager in a company to seriously consider a language, he must know that he will be able to find people with experience in that language, or who can pick up the language and become productive in it quickly. If we target students, they would include Perl in their resume right in the beginning of their careers and not delete it for many years.
Programmers / Testers
Most programmers would stick to the language which their work needs them to use. And it would be very difficult to convince them to learn a new language. So, students are our best bet.
In companies, Perl is already used for testing. A look at the job ads show that though Perl developer jobs are few, there are a lot of openings for Perl testers.
We need to do our best to make the Perl testing team one of the most productive and efficient teams in the company.
A student may be interested in
- Doing what everyone else is doing (peer pressure)
- Getting a good job
- Impressing her professor
- Getting that class project done on time
- Learning new concepts
- Easily able to get books and reference material, preferably for and online
- Getting help easily
If you can help with all of this, you will attract new students to Perl
But, as a person the student may be interested in other things like, say, getting a date.
Now, if Perl can help the student do that, you can guarantee that they will be devoted to Perl!