There's literally tons of online tutorials. Just do some searches until you find some that you like. That's how I learned. I never took a class. Didn't even buy a book until years after I became a solid programmer (though some people like books better - if that's you, by all means hit the book store. There's tons there too).
Besides online tutorials, I recommend a good book for offline reading to get a feeling for the background-philosophy and structure of a programming language.
Going to Amazon searching for "perl programming" you will get many hints on books about perl. Your local book store may have some, too.
**THE** classic book is "Programming Perl" by Larry Wall (the developer of Perl) et al, also known as the famous "camel"-book, well written and worth reading.
I can highly recommend the 'perl cookbook'. Its a big book, but really worth it. Gives lots of example code which helps you put it all together. I've also go 'perl in a nutshell' which is ok, but is really just a reference book, contains little sample code, and does not have any better value that the online perl documentation ( from activestate ).
If you like using a book to start out, I recommend Peachpit press's Visual Quickstart Guides. I thought Perl for the WWW was a good book for someone just starting out. The O'Reilly books are great, once you have a handle on what you're doing, but are really a waste of money unless you already have progrmaming experience in another language or until you're familiar with the basics of Perl.
I have a good short introduction to Perl/CGI. It only scratches the surface but it has lots of good crucial info that first-time scripters need to know. I'm not allowed to post the url here so do a search for: perl bluejay
The Oreilly books are a great way to learn the Perl language. But to learn to Perl you have to code. You can find example programs to modify from the Oreilly web site (all books have example programs) or perlmonks.org . Before you know it you will be lazy, impatient, and hubristic...
Thanks for the input. I am going to look into the books you recommended.
The Orielly Book: Learning Perl
It is the best.
i'm reading learning perl at the moment. good book but it does make some assumptions.
i think that perl is probably a breeze if you are coming to it from the right direction. if you are a unix command line/shell script expert then i expect it is a fairly easy transition. if on the other hand you come more from a windows & C++ direction then it is not quite such an easy transition.
given enough time i'm sure i'll figure it out
I will second Peachpit's Quickstart guide to Perl. Excellent book for beginners.
I'm just starting out but I LOVE the Deitel and Deitel books. I'm using the latest edition of Perl: how to program (or something along those lines!). It is written like a college text so that it actually teaches, not just spouts off info without giving the how's and why's.