Since February 1995. One morning I started with perl - it turned out be a perl4 that came with my Linux distro. Within an hour I wanted to use multidimensional arrays - I couldn't find it in the manual. So, I searched for a newsgroup, found one, started lurking, and quickly discovered there was already a 5.000, so I downloaded and installed that - and read all the manuals front to back.
Didn't get access to my first Perl book before November 1996, when I bought Camel-II on my employers expense.