Perl is one of the most useful and powerful programming languages currently known to man. But you cannot just expect to be an expert on it your first day(s). You have to "lay your foundations" before you can build on it. The following are the things that I found most important in my first month of Perl.
Everyone may have different opinions on this, but in my opinion, you must do the following:
MY TIPS TO LEARNING PERL (FIRST MONTH):
1)Find out what the heck you're doing. I learned that you can't just jump right in to ANY programming language. You have to take it slow, start from the beginning. For example, you can't just jump into Mastering Perl content. You have to take it slow. I recommend making sure you read the simpler docs in the The Official Perldocs before you move onto anything else. The Perldocs are great and you have to read them. After you read some Perldocs, go on to the book, Learning Perl. It is specifically made for beginners.
2) Don't just learn Perl to say you learned it. Use it. Perl is actually a very, very useful language (haha, like you don't know). Once you get used to using it, you won't know how you lived without it.
3) Have fun with it. Don't think that programming is boring. If you have that kind of attitude, you will never actually like using it. When you have free time, use it to just make a program. Whether or not you use it after it's made is up to you.
4) TAKE NOTES! I cannot stress this enough. Notes are a valuable learning tool. If you are lazy, and don't like taking notes, the best alternative (although it is not the same, and you may not absorb as much) is The Perl Pocket Reference. It is a great book filled with essentials.
5) Finally, as a wise monk once told me, "You could do worse than to hang out here. Look through some messages you find interesting, see who makes comments that direct you in useful ways, see other things they have posted, particularly if they have attained the highest levels in the monastery."
For those of you who may have noticed, Yes this is on my Home Node :). I hope to add more to this throughout my Perl career.
perl.j-----A Newbie To Perl