Getting StartedThe first thing you'll need to do is install and test Perl. Once it's up and running, you can get your hands dirty with sample scripts and programs. If you're a Mac OS X user, Perl is most-likely already installed on your system and ready to run. Fire up your Terminal application in your utilities folder and type this on the command line:
If Perl is installed and operating correctly, you'll see a large amount of information printed including the current version of Perl you are running. This same test applies to Linux and Unix systems (most of which come with Perl pre-installed), although the method of accessing the terminal may be different.
On a Windows system, installing Perl is a little more involved, but made very easy by ActiveState's ActivePerl. I've written a step-by-step tutorial on installing Perl on Windows systems that should get you through the process in a few minutes.
Once you've gotten Perl installed, it's advisable (and somewhat traditional) to test the installation by writing out a simple Hello World application. This will begin to get you familiar with the basic structure of a Perl application and make sure you know how to get your exercises and sample scripts up and running throughout the learning process.
At this point, you should be ready to start learning some basic programming concepts by learning about Perl data types.