Perl Intro Training

Perl(Practical Reporting and Extraction Language) is one of the most powerful scripting languages in use today. It is an interpreted language, unlike Java or C#/VB.Net, which makes it easy to quickly write up small scripts and execute them.

Perl has one of the largest code bases of any language, with literally thousands of modules and full programs available under open source licenses. It works on all the major operating systems and many Perl scripts can be ported from one platform to another.

In just one day, our Perl training will teach you the fundamental concepts of Perl programming and get you writing useful scripts. You will also learn the tools of the trade used by professional Perl programmers.

The Perl training will allow you to write Perl scripts that ping other computers, generate directory listings, and extract current stock quotes from online services.

Downloading, Installing, & Running Perl

Perl is managed by the CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network), where you will find Perl implementations for many different operating systems, including Mac, Windows, Unix, and Linux. This introductory session of our Perl training class will show you how to:

  • Access the Perl Archive Network
  • Install and configure Perl on a Windows computer
  • Navigate the documentation, sample code, and tools
  • Configure a text editor for writing Perl scripts

Language Perl Basics

In this part of the class we show you the basics of Perl. Being a loosely-typed, interpreted language, simple Perl is much easier to understand than Java, C, or other compiled, strongly-typed language. When you have completed this section you will have written some short scripts that illustrate how to:

  • Follow basic Perl syntax
  • Identify which error messages go with what type of common errors (e.g., a mis-typed variable name)
  • Add comments to your code
  • Assign text and numbers to "scalar" Perl variables

Text & Numeric Operations in Perl

When it comes to words, phrases and sentences, Perl's string-handling features are unparalleled. Perl also offers a diverse set of operators for handling numeric values. Much of Perl's power comes from the many, many different operators and functions with very specific purposes. AcademyX's Perl training shows you how to:

  • Concatenate (combine) two or more strings together
  • Find substrings, extract portions of a string based on letter positions, and get a letter count
  • Use math functions such as square roots or sines
  • Output formatted text using the print() function

Escaping Special Characters

Because Perl reserves special characters like the dollar sign ($) and "at" symbol (@) as prefixes to variables, you will want to know how to work with them in their normal context, such as US dollars, or the "@" in an email address. This important topic can save hours of frustration as it is a very common source of subtle bugs in scripts. By the end of this section of our Perl training, you will know how to:

  • Output special characters as ordinary text
  • Insert tabs, new lines, and carriage returns in your text using an escape sequence
  • Output text that contains single or double quotes ("delimiters")

Using Your Operating System's Commands

Perl gives you direct access to your operating system's commands, such as getting a directory listing (DIR/ls) or issuing a "ping" command. We show you how to take full advantage of those commands and capture their output in a Perl variable. Instead of writing DOS or BASH shell scripts it's much easier to capture the output of one critical OS command and then continue using Perl and its much larger instruction set to process the data. At the end of this section you will be able to:

  • Execute a DOS command from Perl and capture its output in a Perl variable
  • Avoid problems with special characters in command lines
  • Differentiate between the exec(), system(), and backtick mechanisms

Conditional Statements & Loop Structures

Perl, like other modern programming languages, provides statements like "if-else" that let you execute your code based on one or more conditions. Likewise, Perl lets you repeat a set of instructions within a loop structure. In this section you will learn the specifics of Perl's conditional and looping constructs. Upon conclusion, you will know how to:

  • Execute a specific block of code based on a condition
  • Use "and" and "or" operators to determine if a set of conditions is true
  • Repeat a set of instructions using "while" and "for" loops

Perl on Unix/Linux

Unix introduces several requirements that can trip up the Perl programmer. This final part of the Perl training will show you how to avoid typical Unix pitfalls. You will be able to:

  • Connect to a Linux server and use a command-line text editor to write your script
  • Change the permissions on your script to ensure that it is executable
  • Invoke the Perl interpreter on the "shebang" line to interpret the remainder of the file


  • Some previous programming experience (e.g., JavaScript) strongly recommended
  • Some experience with the DOS or Unix command prompt: understanding of "cd" command and working directories

Perl training offered at four locations: