Here is a topic to help you get out of the box, maybe something will click for you.
You may already know about visual programming languages such
and Pictorial Janus
A short and fascinating article about these two programming systems called
"Drawings on napkins, video game animation, and other ways to program computers"
is available on ToonTalk's Papers page
in Word and Postscript, and an interesting essay
about concurrency, describing how Toontalk eliminates deadlocks and beats the pants off of Java at threads, due to its lightweight model based on a universe which follows physical rules.
Some neat movies of PJ are also available. I realize this is probably not what you seek, but please note that Perl plays to our linguistic talents, while some people are
better at spatial reasoning than at thinking in words. It is also evident from the above
essay on concurrency that it is possible to build a system which by
its architecture resolves whole genres of headsplitting
problems. And Perl newbies may pick up the English-sounding
commands relatively easily but might prefer explaining a complex datastructure with a pen and paper instead of dealing with all the brackets, parentheses, and diacritical marks you need to build and access them in Perl.
I think there are similar fault lines in thinking inside
real-world software projects as well, not just in terms of
technical expertise either. As the Mob Software article
suggests, the pressures they generate lead organizations to latch onto
fashionable methodologies.. perhaps you will find a solution?..
Update: The following post didn't show up on the page
There's also Max
from Opcode Systems. I've played with it (a visual programming
tool that lets
you do anything with midi and serial cables),
a friend was able to turn seismographic live from California
into body-shaking sonics at a Tokyo art museum. The interface
(which animates as it runs, and can be pulled and tweaked on
the fly) is very good for technical artists.