in reply to How do you master Perl?
I worked at an ISP in the states and my first real engagement in Perl was working with the perl programs we used to manage the web hosting accounts. Some people were trying to move up the chain and were writing there own programs to automate their work. I would debug their programming logic. Not knowing perl but having been schooled in programming, I could spot the bug better than they could. I ended up being one of the tech's to help fix customers problems with perl, still never coding anything myself.
I would say the web turned me off perl intially, I liked Miva, and was hoping php would become something, but I would still use C if I needed an application on my web server. After some work with php and hating it and loving it at the same time, I met a young lady and moved to England. I got work in the IT department of a Financial Services company. It was the type of work here that made me fall in love with Perl. Now if I need something on my web page I will most likely do it in perl. If I need anything I will do it in perl. I think what helped me here was the finding flexibility in the language in areas I didn't expect it. I also think working on problems with Win32, threads, ODBC, DBI, cross platform portability issues, made me engage with the language more. I am still a neophyte, most of my programs are writen quickly and are very dirty, though I am cleaning them up more and I am starting to implement practical code reuse.
The whole point of this ramble is for me each step up the perl ladder for me has been faced with a problem and trying to find a solution. Perl can box you into habits and safety zones. If you pop out of those habits and safety zones you might find you gain enough perspective to gain more knowledge.
As an aside why is there a Learning Perl and a Learning Perl for Win32?