in reply to How has Perl affected you?
first of all my best wishes for your new life.
> why you are invested in Perl, what it has done for you, and whether it has changed anything regarding how you approach other tasks/problems in your day-to-day.
I have an humanistic formation and inclination: at university I studied ancient latin and middle age history.
My first and only approach with a computer before the new millennium was with my father's 286 running DOS 6 (if i recall correctly): being a writer he understood how much a word processor (WordStar 5.5) could have been better than an Olivetti Lettera 35.. I looked at the manual and I was astonished! Everything looked messy and clumsy (and it was!)
I planned for me an university carreer in middle age history until I realized that in eataly (yes Eataly!) professors were 60+ and their assistents were 50+ and I started to work, mostly manual jobs here and there.
In 1999 I partecipated to a little group in the aim to realize a little network of PCs, second hand, refurbished ones, running Linux RedHat 5.2 if I recall. A friend of mines, Moussa from Senegal, teached me how to assembly a PC with ATX motherboard: he still works in informatics, I still mess with hardware at work.
An expert, a young guy named Daniele, teached us the basisc of system administration and the basics of networking and the project was a success: a bounce of PC connected to a main one were able to browse internet through a 56Kb modem that hooked on phoneline at 20Kb.
The last day Daniele gave us some printed copies of Introduzione al Perl (1996) saying something like: "if you have time and will to learn more I suggest you to learn a bit of Perl: it is a powerful language with many possibilty" TADA!! Shall the compiler be always with you Daniele!!
I read the tutorial, it made sense. I started playing with Perl during an hot and solitary summer. After some tries and errors I programmed the main PC of the above network to automatically add and configure iptables for new PC of the network. This is shortly referred in my homenode too.
While manual working for a little ISP (~20 peoples) I was hired by that ISP as young system administrator. It was 2002. Main task were on Windows operating systems WINNT and Windows2000. I started to automate as much as possible using Perl. I joined perlmonks the same year.
Then came the hard moment: Murder of a Perl coder (announced). But at the end everything changed to remain the same (*) and I was leaved in peace with my sysadmin tasks and I used Perl again after a brief stop.
So I started to look to every IT problem with Perl eyes, because everything seemed possible to do with it: I started some web interfaces at work, I automated all my original job of website activation and handling (Perl ADSI interface to IIS), and I started some GUI projects with Perl/Tk. Everything looked challenging and fun: everything worked fine since first draft and room for improvements were easy to spot.
Since 2010 I had Perl rebirth with many more meat coming on the fire of learning. So I arrived to Ten (years) Here a big period of life with this community. Some external interest were so traduced into Perl project like Tartaglia's triangle and its Tk interface Tk Tartaglia's triangle fun - Pascal's triangle fun.
At this point Perl already was a mix of a work tool, a fun game of challenging, a mania and a sparetime occupation. I started playing with oneliners at night, as others watch tv or do sudoku.
Finally we arrive at the present and Perl and perlmonks are now a red thread in my life but more than the language itself is the community here that stimulates my brain more and more: following your post, monks, i discover new universes each day and even if my Perl is still basic, I now where to search and where to get inspiration to do something in the rigth way with Perl.
Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.