Join a community: excellent. I actually give this advice to everyone (having founded Perl Mongers, it's not that surprising :)
Being around other people expands your world, but also gives you a chance to see how other people think. Certainly we can all read what people write, but we often leave out a lot of ourselves in that and stick to the topic. Knowing other people who are doing the same thing lets us connect their taste in movies, beer, and Perl idioms. :) We're also forced to hear about the things they're thinking about, which isn't usually the same things we're thinking about.
I've noticed that strange dialects of Perl spring up in isolated Perl programmers. It's sort of like divergent evolution. They turn into a new species of Perl programmer. I also remember this really smart kid from high school who never talked to the other kids and mispronounced a lot of things because he only ever read those particular words. Being around other people re-inforces and refines what we already know, but it also pushes us back toward the mainstream so we don't develop into the Perl program who uses Parse::RecDescent for absolutely every program (I have met a couple like that, beleive it or not :)
brian d foy <email@example.com>
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