Like many of the other replies my main advice is to practice. Unlike some of the other replies I think there can be great advantage into dipping into a University level Computer Science course. If you have the opportunity of attending a few selected papers that deal with subjects like data structures and algorithms you can pick up a few tools that you will use directly or for guidance often. It doesn't matter that the course uses a language other than Perl, most of that information translates well across languages and Perl is pretty good a being what you need it to be.
A lot of those tools and techniques you can pick up just by looking at the vast quantity of code around this site and by asking questions about it. But you will miss the overarching principles that let you use techniques in many different ways. A good computer science course will teach you the philosophy as well as the practice.
Premature optimization is the root of all job security
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