Wall graduated from Seattle Pacific University linguistics and as a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles ( UCLA) and the University of California, Berkeley. After his studies, he worked primarily as a system administrator and programmer, and later as a book author. Wall worked for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, for Unisys and for O'Reilly.
He is the inventor of the Perl programming language, the widespread program patch, author of Usenet clients rn and the producer of configuration scripts metaconfig. He twice won the IOCCC Competition ( International Obfuscated C Code Contest) for the most obscure C source code, received in March 1993, Dr. Dobbs Journal Excellence in Programming Award and in October 1998 the first FSF Award. This has been written by him Camel book was one of the first books on Perl and is still regarded as a basis for the study of language. For years he has been working mainly with the redesign of Perl 6 syntax.
Wall is, apart from his skills as a programmer, known for his humor, his wit and his fine sense of irony, often on open source conferences comes to the fore in discussions on Usenet or on mailing lists, in interviews and in speeches.
He is married to Gloria Wall, with whom he has four children. He also like to confess publicly to his Christian faith. He belongs to the Cupertino New Life Nazarene Church and loves to play the violin.