Schwartz is the co-author of several widely used books about Perl, a programming language, and has written regular columns about Perl for several computer magazines. He popularized the Just another Perl hacker signature programs. He is a founding board member of the Perl Mongers, the worldwide Perl grassroots advocacy organization. Schwartz is currently a co-host on FLOSS Weekly, a free software/open source (FLOSS) themed podcast.
Schwartz's name is also associated with the Schwartzian transform, an algorithm to efficiently sort a list according to a computation, without repeating the computation many times for each element of the list. Since 1985, Schwartz has owned and operated Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc.
In July 1995, Schwartz was prosecuted in the case of State of Oregon vs. Randal Schwartz, which dealt with compromised computer security during his time as a system administrator for Intel. Schwartz was originally convicted on three felony counts, with one reduced to a misdemeanor, but on February 1, 2007 his arrest and conviction records were sealed through an official expungement and he is legally no longer a felon.