I'm a front and backend .NET web developer (most solutions use MS SQL Server) and I won't be using any non-MS solutions for a while.
Will Perl be useful for situations that require scripting in an MS product environment?
Software Engineering Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professionals, academics, and students working within the systems development life cycle. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
IMHO, for most of the tasks that used to be done with Perl it's now totally replaced. Mostly by Python (most general: scripting, GUI, web, services). Also by Ruby (mostly web) and Lua (real-time).
Just this month Python has become the 4th most popular programming language.
For integration with .NET you have IronPython, IronRuby and Lua.NET
Not sure if Perl's a good idea anymore as it's lost a lot of it's former popularity as a web development platform. I've found that learning PHP is one of the more valuable languages to know at the moment because of it's ubiquity and there's lot's of demand. It can be used in the same situations as Perl anyway.
I'd rather use Java by choice myself but spend more time with PHP to go with the demand. Java would be another possibility for you to learn as it's very similar to .NET but it's another huge platform that takes a long time to master.
If you are concerned mainly about working in the MS stack, I don't think that Perl would be a particularly good choice. To the best of my knowledge, there isn't any particularly good integration between Perl and .NET.
Perhaps a better scripting choice would be IronPyton, which gives you the dynamicness of Python with full .NET integration.
Whereas the MS way of doing things is through progressively more complex architectures, the Python world tends to be extraordinarily simple. It is a nice reality check. I have no clear preference either way. .Net use of rigid interfaces and tight typing tends to mean the compiler picks up a lot of bugs before you even run but Python's duck typing and auto-declaring variables means you write code a lot faster.
The one thing I do miss is Visual Studio - I program Python on my Mac and Eclipse feels lacking.