in reply to Curious about Perl's strengths in 2018

Perl is IMO still very powerful in the areas it has always been powerful in: text processing (regexes etc.), system administration, web development, and so on. Glancing over at *NIX help forums today shows that people are still getting a lot done with sed, awk, and perl one-liners. It's also come into use in the bioinformatics world, AFAIK for its power in handling text files. But Perl has also grown a significant amount:

what are hot items on CPAN these days?

Just to name a few "modern" ones:

Although not exactly new, there are some other nice frameworks/libraries that IMO make Perl more "modern":

Probably other monks can point out some of the "big ones" I've missed - see also Task::Kensho for even more modules. In general, I think even many of the modules that have been around for a really long time have matured to the point where they are more robust, have good test suites, etc. (e.g. Template, just to name one of many) - either that, or, in some cases, are now generally recommended against or deprecated.

Various minor edits, and updates as indicated.