in reply to How do you master Perl?

About the safety net...

You raise the topics of source control and tests. Both are safety nets, but they are from different worlds.

Tests is a coding safety net. Its cousin is designing code for testability / debuggability, using assertions (even contracts are here but this is way too much for beginners).

Source control is coding tools safety net. Its relative is keeping track of bugs/features, for example.

Also, I'm not sure that learning other languages is the best advice for beginners. For once, most Perl beginners probably come from other languages, either from work/self study or from University. Learning other languages (the well known one of each of the 4 paradigms) can be left for later, intermediate stages.