In many posts monks have sung the praises of using CPAN modules when possible, and I usually echo each song. A while back I started making the recent uploads page on CPAN a staple in my daily surfing, and found it to be a great way to find out about new modules and get quick updates on modules I already use. It wouldn't be that hard to fill up Cool Uses for Perl every day with a CPAN module.
Keeping up to date on CPAN modules has been great because there are plenty of modules out there that I wouldn't have dreamed there'd already be a solution for in a CPAN module, and probably would have never searched. Even if I would have tried a search, unfortunately there are a lot of modules on CPAN that aren't very well named, and finding them in a search might prove a bit difficult.
Yesterday a co-worker was doing searches on Google to match a list of company names to their websites. I thought about it a while and remembered seeing WWW::Search on the list recently and in about 15 minutes was able to install it, scan the docs, and write a small script to save my co-worker some time. It was pretty rewarding.
Has anyone else had a similar experience? Are there other good ways besides this site and mailing lists to keep abreast of Perl development?
I also wanted to encourage people who are new to Perl or new to using CPAN modules to take a look at the recent uploads from time to time--it may save you some headaches that you wouldn't know could be solved. Even if you don't ever use a CPAN module, it's also a great way to see what other people are doing in Perl, and may give you some ideas on how to improve your skills.