I’ve been reading through TPP, and the second chapter deals with the tools that a good programmer should have access to. I never really thought about it, but text manipulation is a big part of the job. In the past I have written small projects in Java to create test data, or transform one data set to another, but the development time and overhead is quite high. The book mentions Perl, Python and Ruby as better text manipulators, and I’ve decided to try using Perl. I’ve done a bit in Python before, but nothing more really, than a Hello World program.
Reading the book has exposed me to some glaring holes in my knowledge, but also inspired me to look for better solutions to problems. There are some manual processes I’ve been doing at work, that I don’t think I would have considered automating until I started reading tech books. It’s ignited my passion for writing code.
So, I downloaded Strawberry Perl for Windows, and set up Notepad++ for executing Perl scripts and wrote my first Hello World program. I’m going to try some XML transformation as my first real program. I don’t know if it’s the best tool for the job (XSLT, Python, etc., could all be better choices), but I guess I’ll find out.