I really agree with Stiller on this one. People don't use Perl to “use Perl.” They use it to do stuff. And that “stuff,” not Perl, is all that really matters.
I've seen first-hand over the past year that you can either build great stuff using Perl or you can churn out mountains of malodorous junk. You can do that in a startup mode or in an established company. Some companies start-up as startups (of course...) and transition to established-company and they're still turning out junk!
The key I'd look for in any company, regardless of size, is really not “what language(s) do they use,” but rather, “do they have a disciplined process?”
I think that a lot of start-up companies drop into the mode that they don't really pay attention to what they are producing: they just want to produce it very, very fast. “Quick ’n dirty” seems to be the Order Of The Day, and soon-enough that comes around to bite you in the ... “ * ” !! You can also run into some rather spectacular personalities.
So if you land in a company that's (using Perl and...) has done more serious study of software-engineering than just learning how to spell “Joel,” it could be great. Otherwise it's going to be misery. Computer programming, as you will discover, is not just a matter of what you do and how you write it, but your company's or workgroup's entire approach. I feel that start-ups tend to have a higher concentration of poor or non-existent practices, and relatively little understanding or regard for their importance, especially if software is the core-focus of the company.
In reply to Re: Have you heard about recent startups using Perl?