I started using it in 1997. merlyn can attest to "tecmaster" from bergen.org logging onto EFnet #perl and asking questions that got me kicked. I was "Jeff, the teaching teen perl hacker", I believe.
in reply to How long have you been using Perl?
Why did I learn Perl? Because my school personal web site's "search engine" consisted of a textarea whose contents were emailed to me when the user clicked the "submit" button. I would then email them back telling them what pages were good for the content they were looking for. (Yecch.) So I learned Perl so I could write a search engine-type thing.
That summer, I got a job at my high school writing admin scripts in Perl. I took off from there.
I learned Perl sitting at Barnes & Noble reading the camel because I had no money to buy it; I didn't need a terminal near me to test things... I absorbed Perl pretty easily. Now, I believe I have somewhere around 10 Perl books.
, who'd like a job