in reply to
Why I learn a language.
Why/how I learned Perl
I managed to land a job doing phone based tech support at a (in hind site) really really great small ISP. 3 months later I managed to get myself moved into the engineering dept. I had only been dealing with computers for about 6-7 months at this point, but the whole duck to water thing applies
My first task as an 'enginneer', aside from getting a functional SPARC/Solaris workstation was to build a quasi-dynamic anonymous access FTP server for our customers. I managed to figure out shell scripting with help from some great mentors, and called it done. Then something else needed automating so again, back to the shell. Another admin gave me grief saying Perl was better/faster/more robust than shell scripting, but I wanted to devel for the lowest common denominator.
So it was our personal battle. He would bang something in Perl, I would do the same in shell. He would always finish first, and his code would always finish first as well. (in hind site again, I think it was mainly due to his experience over mine, but thats a moot point). I decided programming was fun and hunkered down with C. I probably played with C for a few months, got the basics of arrays and lower structures, but was having issues moving beyond, so I decided to give Perl a shot.
Much to my surprise I loved Perl. In my mind it was a "lazy" implementation of C. None of those stringent syntax requirements, DWIM not DWIS, etc... I fell in love with Perl. Since then I've moved beyond the "Perl is lazy man's C", but its still the first language I reach for on any project.
/* And the Creator, against his better judgement, wrote man.c */