After talking with a few colleagues recently, I realized I needed to brush up on my Perl knowledge for my professional work. I've been programming as an amateur and a professional for about 28 years (yeah, I started programming that young on a Commodore PET's and 64's), so filling in the gaps in my knowledge on Perl has been very easy and enjoyable.
I was pretty happy to realize that Perl is really a coder's programming or scripting language from the perspective of a traditional programmer like me, dealing with a lot of tediousness and rigidity of traditional languages I'm used to. Not like I haven't used Perl in a professional sense before, but it was pretty much for the purpose of troubleshooting problem CGI's or writing quick-and-dirty *NIX scripts to get a job done.
As I was going through the standard paces of learning a language from the ground-up to fill in any gaps I have, I realized something. I can use Perl for more than just my Linux server and network appliance work, Perl may actually be the modern programming language that I've been looking for to teach my kids the basics of programming like I did when I was about their age.
Not like Perl is the simplest of languages for a 6 or 8 year old to learn (hey, I started when I was about 8 to 10 years old), but the simple beginning-level exercises you go through are a great way to spark curiosity in kids about software development. From there you can move them along to other things that are even more relevant to modern computing and the Internet.
So, as I move forward consuming all knowledge about Perl to advance myself, I have a question for anyone out there who may be reading this. How do you use Perl? I've had other people ask me the same thing, so I'd like to hear how other people use Perl to automate server administration, processes, or anything else. Hell, I might get some cool ideas for my little geeks, so let me know!