http://www.perlmonks.org?node_id=183565


in reply to How bad it is to learn Perl?

I'm sure others will chime in on this (at least, I hope so), but my opinion is that it depends on the person, because there are some who can appreciate the variety and strengths of various languages, while others will find perl to be the language they have dreamed of (or feared, depending on their personality), and look no further.

My own experience was that I was first introduced to perl in a Unix course after having encountered BASIC, Pascal, FORTRAN, C, COBOL, two flavors of assembly-level languages, and several flavors of *nix shell scripting. At the time, I didn't know what I didn't realize how powerful a tool I was being handed, and didn't start to use and appreciate it until a later course in which the instructor said the students could use any language available on the school's computer system. I digressed into that so you see where I came from. At that point, I started using (and appreciating) perl, and when I later took a C++ class, I found the "pseudocode" I was using to document assignments was more and more frequently the perl code I would have used. Now, in my job, I primarily use perl, occasionally some form of shell scripting, with a little SQL, HTML, and PHP, to make things interesting, with once in a while being called upon to look at something in other languages as well, or to be asked to look at something to provide an alternate perspective.

Perl is a "swiss army-chainsaw," as someone put it, and very nice to have, but learning other languages will give you a more balanced perspective on perl's strengths (and yes, weaknesses), and a better understanding/insight (and appreciation) of the features you enjoy and their costs. To do so, though, you must give the other languages a "fair shake." The question is, can you let go and appreciate the IDIC of the languages and algorithms you study?