The first time I heard of Perl was in the summer of 1991 when Eric McCaughrin (sp?) was commenting on something I was trying to do in C--he thought Perl would have been a better fit for the problem. (He was right.)
in reply to My first approach to Perl. How has been yours?
Fast forward to 1996, cobbling together some CGI scripts for Fermilab experiment #872 (see e.g. DONUT), learned Perl 4. Been writing C code in Perl since. :-)
Tangentially, Stanford University physicist Martin Perl won the 1995 Nobel Prize for discovering the tau lepton; the corresponding neutrino was "discovered" by the DONUT experiment.