The simple language for manipulating text files appeared around the same time as the Internet, so when people needed to fix Web servers, they turned first to Perl. If you have text in one format and need to change it -- "massage it," in Perl parlance -- it may only take 10 to 20 characters. Most of the Perl scripts may be short, but that never stopped some true believers. Slashdot, after all, was built with Perl.
Other language of choice: Unix shell scripts
Special skill: Regular expressions
Social media strategy: Arguing on Slashdot
Other career choice: Roboticist building simulated dinosaurs for malls
Clothing: Jacket and T-shirt
Rhetorical tic: "It's the duct tape of the Internet."
Car: Tuned Honda Civic
Song: Pantera's "Cemetery Gates"
Favorite artifact: First edition of O'Reilly's Perl handbook
Many PHP programmers fell into PHP by accident. They were creating HTML, and they needed a bit of dynamic logic. One tag led to another, and they found themselves creating websites and content-management systems with the code.
Special skill: Juggling the coding layer and the HTML markup
Social media strategy: More than 1,000 friends on Facebook; still logs into MySpace
Other career choice: Mortgage broker
Clothing: T-shirt depicting logo of pre-bubble startup you've never heard of
Rhetorical tic: "Monetize the eyeballs."
Car: Aging SUV
Song: The Cure's "Just Like Heaven"
Favorite artifact: Orange moped from Kozmo
It was the first great serious language for the Internet, driven by the promise of running everywhere. The desktops never surrendered to the server farms, but the introductory programming classes did. Today it lives on in the hearts of Android programmers.
Other language of choice: Pascal
Special skill: Creating extralong variable names in camel case so that the code is self-documenting
Social media strategy: Attends local Java Users Group meeting each month; checks Java.net account for new meetings
Other career choice: Y2K programmer
Clothing: Java One polo shirt
Rhetorical tic: "The JVM will just handle it in another thread."
Car: Mazda Miata
Song: Talking Heads' "Wild Wild Life"
Favorite artifact: Something signed by Jim Gosling
They fell in love with Java but remained loyal to Microsoft, perhaps because the boss insisted on keeping it a Microsoft shop. The code looks similar. The idioms work the same way. It's pretty much the same as Java, but with a few nice fixes worked into the mix.