in reply to Why did you become a Perl expert (or programmer)?
I planned to title it: How IT begun? My history with computers and programming anyway here I'm. For sure not an expert.
I think this meditation, if rich of background details, will be useful or fun for future readers. Infact I suspect next generations of programmers will be prepeared in a more formal way and also programming languages will be more industry driven: no more tool made by passionate peoples to help other peoples but more tool made by the industry to make more gold more quicly, as always.
I had a passion for history and I disliked math. Now I understand it was because of wrong teachers.
My father is a professor of an humanistic field. He asked my help when I was a teenager to switch from his Olivetti Lettera 35 writing machine to a PC running DOS 6. I've done my best to help him but I looked at the manual of DOS 6 as you can look at gerogliphic on the Tutankamon pyramid: O_O
On his 286 my father used wordstar 5.5 to produce text: everything was block driven with a kind of tag system à la html.
I remember my fear after issuying doublespace.bin reading the evil warning: this command is irreversible ouch!
Then a big time gap till the end of the past millenium. I was in a small group and we collected some old computer and monitors to build up an hack lab. Linux was the new revolutionary thing! iirc redhat 5.6 was the release.
A guy (Daniele if my memory still serves), shall Larry bless him, helped us to build the network (coaxial cables: do you remember?) and gave us the first notions of Linux. At the end of the session he distributed a 20 page Perl introduction in italian (i think is this one) saying: If someone is interested and has some spare time this is worth to read..
A friend from Senegal teached me about the art of hardware maintenance, assembling and cannibalizing: still useful lessons!
In a hot summer, after my hours as mason and before fool nights as you can only can afford in your 20s, I tried to write some html page and.. I get bored very soon: ok colors, letters, titles.. it seemed to me a primary school occupation. I needed something more challenging and I took such introduction to Perl.
I reread it many times without understanding well what the goal was: at that time I had no internet support and everything was on my own.
After some hours I produced my first script: an ugly chain of system calls to automate the firewall creation for the above Linux hack lab: the floppy must be still somewhere.
I took a fixed-term job as warehouse worker in a small ISP in my town: I frequently asked for wisdom to Linux gurus there. I was asked to install some windows machine: winnt and the new windows2000. They hired me soon. The luck was at my side
I used perl everytime I had an occasion to do it and I played with perl in my nights: very soon I produced working code to automate stuff on windows.
Joined perlmonks on 2002 to get support: I found the link on my copy of Perl Language Reference italian edition (my english was not so good at this time: studied on my own as perl).
I had some problem because no one of my bosses loved so much perl (only the owner of the company) as you can see in my Murder of a Perl coder (announced).
So I started because with perl you have immediatly something working, I continued because it can glue everything, I'm still here because the challenge never ends. Infact after circa 2007 I put a big effort on my perl because was the only fun thing of my job: see Ten (years) Here and over the time it become a passion very deeply nested in me: red thread
Worth to mention, even if you all already know, a wonderfull communty here at perlmonks: it is still now in 2018 my only net-place and I got a lot of support and some friends too.