When I arrived at a company with around 40 developers,
there were zero Perl programmers. Within three years,
that had grown to 20. This happened without an
official project and without any management "approval".
The trick was to not ask for
approval but to simply go out and start solving
useful company problems with Perl.
If you have enthusiasm and what you are doing is
useful, others will follow.
As for specific tasks, when I started, they were
building a multi-platform "glue" tool, using cygwin
on Windows (rather than your MKS) to auto build and
test a product across around 15 different platforms.
Switching to Perl, I was immediately able
to speed up some parts of this process from one hour down
to five minutes (which was definitely noticed by
the people who used to have to wait for an hour!).
Someone in another department noticed what I was
doing, and decided Perl was an excellent way to
allow power users to extend and script our product --
noting that there is no barrier to bundling Perl
with commercial product.
Outside the Web Application sphere, some areas
where Perl might be used:
- Build and test automation.
- Adding power user scripting capability to product.
- Product installation and configuration, e.g. Mandrakelinux.
- Patch creation, distribution and testing.
- Bug/request tracking, e.g.
- Software configuration management, e.g.
SVK (built on top of Subversion).
- In-house wikis for information sharing, e.g.
- Creating slide presentations, e.g.
- Timesheet systems.