I've been using Perl since 1987 (Perl 1). I'd bid a fixed-price gig and was looking for the fastest way to get my mitts on the money. I took a chance that the newly-released Perl would be better than shell scripting. Betting on Larry Wall was a good move.
I've been programming since 1971, anything from shell scripts to device drivers and firmware, lately mainly in C, C++, Perl. I came from the theoretical side of things: I'm a published mathematician, have a BS and an MSCS from Yale, and was a Lecturer in the Yale Medical School.
In 2007 I published my first novel, The God Proof. It centers on a little known part of Kurt Gödel's work -- his effort to prove God's existence. (Yes, that's for real. See Gödel's Collected Works, Vol 3. pp. 403-404.) Gödel worked out his proof in two notebooks, notebooks that were missing from his effects when they were cataloged after this death. In fact, these notebooks were the only things unaccounted for.
There's more about me and my projects at at my personal web site.