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Submission + - Switching from Perl to C++

An anonymous reader writes: I am a junior web application developer working on back office tools for an e-commerce business. I have a few years experience on the Linux/MySQL/Apache/Perl stack. I see myself as relatively well paid. However I notice that salaries at the top end of my field are approximately 60-50% of those offered to C++ developers. This is enough to make me consider switching and I would rather do this earlier than later to reduce any pay cut I may have to accept. Of course the problem is that its almost impossible to find jobs in C++ that do not require experience. And to make matters worse its normally experience of closed source, non-free products, Sybase, SQL Server, Visual Studio, etc. So I turn to slashdot for advice on how to improve my chances of getting my foot in the door.
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Switching from Perl to C++

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Use the Force, Luke.