More than two dozen software engineers currently work on Monetate’s testing, targeting and personalization platform for online retailers (and we’re hiring even more).

I recently asked my fellow engineers to answer a few questions about their backgrounds.

Here are the results:

What degrees have you earned?

As you might expect, several of our engineers have degrees in computer science and related disciplines, such as information and systems engineering and information networking.

But many come from other backgrounds. Among the other degrees Monetate engineers hold are: photography, English/journalism, fine arts, and multimedia design. One engineer minored in percussion performance. Another minored in philosophy.

What was the first programming language you learned?

Pascal and BASIC/QBASIC were the most popular first programming languages cited.

Among the others: C, C++, Logo, Javascript, and PHP.

What is your favorite programming language?

Python was the most popular answer, with PHP and Javascript each getting multiple votes as well.

Among the others: D, ML, and Ruby.

What is your favorite text editor for writing code?

Vim is the favorite among backend engineers. Among frontend engineers, it’s a tie between TextMate and Sublime Text 2.

Other favorite text editors: Eclipse with the PyDev plugin and Dreamweaver.

What is your favorite web browser?

Chrome has a slight edge over Firefox.

Internet Explorer got zero votes.

What’s your hidden talent?

Only one hidden talent was mentioned by more than one Monetate engineer: beatboxing.

Among the others:

  • Saxophone
  • Dancing
  • Speed Rubik’s Cube solving
  • Playing the musical saw
  • Devotee of the Dvorak key mapping
  • Cycling
  • Knitting
  • Vibraphone
  • The ability to brew a mean Oatmeal Stout