Larry Wall: Apostle to the Hackers

In an interview with Eric Davis, Larry Wall, creator of Perl scripting language, speaks out on why he didnt become a missionary after language training with SIL.

“It turns out that I am allergic to a lot of things: seafood, wheat, eggs, tomatoes. People who are working out in the field can’t afford to be picky about what they are eating. But the training that I got was invaluable for what I was going to do later. I just didn’t know it at the time. A couple of years back I got email from somebody who was working at Wycliffe and didn’t know that I had been affiliated with them. He said, “By the way, we use Perl for all sorts of things here.” I wrote back to him and said, “You really made my day. No, you made my life.”

But in a sense I am still a missionary. I kind of consider myself an apostle to the hackers.” Larry Wall

Scary2-2Well, Larry, you may not have not made it overseas but your geekage has gone global and we SALUTE YOU!! My Macintosh salutes you! And for what its worth Larry, I know you never got to be a real missionary . . . but wearing that shirt makes you LOOK like a missionary to me.

Can I get a witness?

Read the Slashdot interview with Larry on Perl, Relgion . . .(HT: Mark Reichmann)

Also read Larry’s thoughts on Perl as the world’s first POSTMODERN computer language.


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • I love it when God does stuff like that. It must have been very disappointing when he trained to be a occupational missionary and that fell through, only later to find out that God had other big plans for him. Amazing!

  • Geektastic!
    The (lengthy) discussion on the slashdot thread (what I read of it) is interesting, although a lot of it does seem to display the fingers-in-ears la-la-la approach such things normally descend into (at least online).
    Thanks for pointing these articles up.

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