Perl is ideal for the automation of mundane and time consuming tasks. It can be used to sort data from large data sets, access databases, manipulate images, scrape data from web pages, batch submit data to web pages, create reports and edit/update documents and files. In fact, those are just a few of the many uses it can be put to. If you have an often performed task which requires the sorting/consideration of text, Perl can most likely be used to improve repeatability, decrease user error and increase speed.
Got an interesting problem you think Perl might be useful for and want some advice? Leave me a comment, I’d like to hear about it.
1) Creation of spreadsheets to report metrics. Metrics checking software output an HTML page listing metrics standards violations for a large C application. Perl was used to compile these errors and warnings by type and level and then provide an easy to digest summary of weekly metrics activity.
2) Prototype admin functionality for a large web application. Developing new/improved administration functionality on a large website can be costly and time consuming. Development and testing time to integrate a new feature into the website’s code and database could take weeks of developer time and usefulness of these new features was in question. Perl was used to simulate this improved functionality by automating submission of requests and entry of data into the website’s back end. This allowed for evaluation of this augmented functionality at a much lower cost.
3) Web crawling to accumulate user data regarding a web community’s activity to allow for rewards to be given out based on each user’s contribution.