in reply to Worst thing you ever made with Perl
I created my first public Perl script when i wanted to build a site. With over 2000 pages it would have been a nightmare to maintain, and initially I was searching for a free host which supported ASP (shudder at the thought now) and came with a database. In 1997 those were pretty scarce and i went searching for an alternative.
I found Perl.
Back then I didn't know about Activestate, CPAN, pod, perldoc and what not. I learned Perl by examining Matt Wright's scripts, occasionally dialing in to find some how-to's and test the scripts i wrote, because the only Perl interpreter i had access to was on that server.
That's how I learned Perl and it was a mess. I wrote my own flat-file db something, no strict, no input validation, all vars were global as I couldn't figure out how to pass arguments to a perl sub. But it worked and i was happy.
In 99 I got another brief encounter with Perl when I needed to customize someone elses code. I bought 'Mastering Perl 5' to help me with that (big mistake). I learned a lot from that book, I found CPAN but didn't grok it, also learned a lot from hacking away at the existing script.
I didn't write decent perl until at least early 2002. I joined perlmonks this summer and learned so much, that every script i wrote before I joined looks bad to me.