Bryan Cantrill, 31
Tracing software in real time
Even with all the recent advances in information technology, systems administrators are still running blind: if a piece of software doesnt quite do what it should, administrators may spend days hunting down the problem and figuring out how to fix it. Bryan Cantrill, senior staff engineer at Sun Microsystems, has created an application called DTrace that offers real-time software diagnostics -- giving IT folks a way to see whats going on and start improving performance in minutes. This kind of power elates many programmers. "With DTrace," says Cantrill, "I can walk into a room of hardened technologists and get them giggling."