I'm on a journey to master Perl by the end of this month. As it turns out, this powerful scripting language is being positioned at work as THE scripting language for the automation framework. All test tools will need to be written or re-written for compatibility with a new test/automation framework based on Perl.
So far, learning Perl is a walk in the park. I can certainly see a lot of relation to existing programming languages Java and C++, with a zing of more useful features. For being an interpreted language (you need to install an interpreter on Windows, Linux comes standard with one), it is efficiently fast. I like how it "has no limits but your system" and how "there's always more than one way to do things". It can get confusing sometimes, but if you just stick with a few ways, you will get by just fine. My methodology is formed from experience as a Java programmer, so I use syntax that resembles Java as much as I can.
The best part of it all: I can learn this language for free. There are so many good tutorials and even free ebooks online that I wonder if stores can still sell actual books at all!