The answer is always "it depends" on where your interests lie, and what opportunities are open to you (or which opportunities you have the determination to create for yourself). If the projects you want to do require Python or R, you should probably learn one of those. I've been fortunate enough to be able to choose the best language for the job for most of my career, and by sheer coincidence I guess, that just so happens to be Perl most of the time. Meaning, the "best tool for the job" definitely has to take into account the skillset of the team (or individual) that will be doing the work, and existing libraries, in addition to the actual project requirements.

As for community, I'm obviously biased, but I think we have one of the best around.

Where Perl shines? Perl is general purpose enough for that to be a rather large list. Off the top of my head, bioinformatics is going strong, and things like system programming, text processing, and web development have remained pillars of Perl. jobs.perl.org is a glimpse into a subset of the market for Perl programmers, too.

Finally, I believe Perl has great value as a teaching language. Even if you never write any "real" Perl, the knowledge you will gain from learning how to write competent Perl code, will make you a better overall developer.

That's just one monk's opinion.


In reply to Re: Is it worth knowing Perl? Real-life examples please by rjt
in thread Is it worth knowing Perl? Real-life examples please by Anonymous Monk

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