Perl has certainly helped further my career, and also added in the keeping of my sanity over the last few years. I first learned perl in a data and file processing class in college. I currently do about half my programming in perl and the other half in C/C++. I work on H/A application agents; perl is a fantastic tool for this job. One of the great things about perl is that my proof of concepts (can we cluster this?) often can be used to build the agent on top of. I have also used perl to automate all of the parts of my job I don’t like, like automating support matrix updates, cvs updates (we have multiple source trees here and it gets confusing at times). I don’t feel I would have gotten this job if I didn’t know perl. We have one other perl coder and my department and about 10 total in the building (250 or so people). It defiantly helped me get my foot in the door, and has helped me keep my job in this less that wonderful economy.
All and all I am very thankful for the people who created perl, taught it to me, and those that continue to help me learn it.