Perl Programming

Perl is a high-level, general-purpose, dynamic programming language.  Perl borrows features from other programming languages including C, AWK, and sed.  The language provides powerful text-processing facilities without the arbitrary data-length limits of many contemporary Unix tools.  Perl is often nicknamed the “Swiss Army chainsaw of scripting languages” because of its flexibility and power.  It is also referred to as the “duct tape that holds the Internet together.”

Where It Fits

Perl can be used for just about everything that doesn’t involve touching hardware—we don’t recommend writing device drivers or operating systems in Perl. Large enterprise-scale applications involving the work of multiple teams need to be developed with discipline and a consistent methodology, because tools that enforce style and interface definitions are uncommon for Perl. But large-scale applications and  frameworks have been developed in Perl. Perl may sometimes be used as part of the LAMP software bundle.

Example Usage

Classic “Hello world” example:

use strict;
use warnings;
print "Hello, world!\n";

Real-World Uses

Some of the most important uses of Perl are secret, because businesses view them as strategic advantages. Some of the known prominent known uses of Perl include: Large parts of the infrastructures of eBay, Yahoo!, and Amazon. Morgan Stanley, Bank of America,         Deutsche Bank and other large financial institutions make heavy use of Perl, as do TicketMaster and the British Broadcasting Corporation. Perl use is especially widespread in educational institutions, research agencies such as NASA, and government offices such as the US Courts.


Perl has been around for a long time. It was invented by Larry Wall in 1987. Since then, it has evolved significantly and it’s also been the subject of a few myths. When the Web was invented, people everywhere used Perl to create web pages during the frenzy we now wistfully refer to as the dot-com boom.

Perl Programming at the O’Reilly School of Technology

OST currently offers a full series of Perl programming training courses which, combined, make up the Perl Programming certificate program. For a full description of the courses or the certificate program, explore the links below. If you have any questions or would like additional guidance, don’t hesitate to contact us—we’re here to help!

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