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Thank your local programmer

28. October 2008 20:55 by Scott in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (44)

"Who started it all? Who made the world a better place for all programmers?  Who should we pay homage to as programmers?"  When asking these questions, who do you think of? One thing I was never taught was who were the first successful programmers?  Who made my job what it is today?  Of course you have Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak, but they weren't the ones who started it all; only the ones that made millions from it all.

The first and foremost programmer was:

  • Ada Lovelace - She was the first person to write an algorithm that was expressly intended to work on mechanical computer by Charles Babbage. She died at the early age of 36, but has remained for ever in the programmer's hall of fame. The programming language Ada was named after her which was first used by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The following are a list of notable programmers, for if it weren't for these frontiers men we would still be about 20 years behind.

  • ENIAC -This giant machine was considered the first giant brain when it was released to the press in 1946. This machine needed the first working programmers Kay McNulty, Betty Jennings, Betty Snyder, Marlyn Wescoff, Fran Bilas and Ruth Lichterman.
  • Leonard Adleman - Co-inventor of the RSA algorithm which also coined the term "Computer Virus".
  • Paul Allen - Co-founder of Microsoft.
  • John Backus - Creator of FORTRAN.
  • Tim Berners-Lee - The person all internet startup companies should pay homage to.  He is the creator of the World Wide Web. The Internet.
  • Richard Brodie - The creator of Microsoft word. For all those against Microsoft, you have to agree that we would still be way behind if it not for this guy.
  • Walter Bright - Creator of the first C++ compiler.
  • John D. Carmack - Creator of Doom and Quake.  This man changed the average time spent on the computer.
  • Bram Cohen - Creator of the BitTorrent Protocol.
  • Alan Cooper - Creator of Visual Basic.
  • Alan Cox - Creator of the Linux Kernel.
  • Ward Cunningham - Inventor of the Wik.
  • Bill Gates - Co-Creator of Microsoft.
  • Jawed Karim - Creator of YouTube.
  • Mike Muus - Author of Ping.
  • Jarkko Oikarinen - The creator of IRC.
  • Bjarne Stroustrup - Creator of C++.

These programmers are the most notable of our field today and have been for some time.  They are the guys we should say thank you to.  For those interesting factoid kind of people.  I would like to point out that the first programmer is a woman in an industry that is dominated by males. Go figure!

Programmers have a way of making the world a better place.  Making it a place where things get easier and life gets faster.  Programmers save lives, prevent natural catastrophes (hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis) in which BILLIONS of lives have been saved by your average programmer sitting in a cubicle somewhere making the next best digital widget that could end up saving your life.  Computers are everywhere so lets not forget that code from a programmer is also entrenched in our daily lives. 

Moral of the story: Thank your local programmer! They might not be preventing heart failure in a pacemaker, but they are making the world a easier place to live in!

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Comments (44) -

Greg M
Greg M
10/29/2008 1:33:17 AM #

ROFL. Very subtle, I like it. You're definitely getting funnier as you keep writing.

tariq shadod
tariq shadod
10/29/2008 5:09:16 AM #

Alan Cox - Creator of the Linux Kernel. !!!!!!!

check this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Cox please

Scott
Scott
10/29/2008 5:40:32 AM #

I got Alan Cox.  Look, its Alpha order.

David Hofmann
David Hofmann
10/29/2008 12:06:31 PM #

Guido van Rossum - Python creator

Morgan
Morgan
10/29/2008 1:51:41 PM #

Greetings,
Tariq isn't suggesting the name, he's pointing out that...ummm...I feel weird having to say this...Alan Cox didn't create the Linux kernel.  That would be Linus Torvalds.

Your list is...interestingly skewed.  You include Bjarne, but not K&R.

You include Brodie, but not Mitch Kapor or Dave Bricklin.

You include Bram Cohen, but not Shawn Fanning.

You include Carmack, but not Nolan Bushnell.

You include Cooper, but not Kemeny and Kurtz.

No mention of all kinds of people, like Richard Stallman, John McCarthy, Ken Thompson, and...well, a whole host of others more historically relevant.

It's a very odd take on classic programmers, informed by a Windows-oriented background and an odd mismatch of historical perspectives.

The underlying idea is good, though.

--  Morgan

Scott
Scott
10/29/2008 2:30:45 PM #

@Morgan,
Thank you for that.  I will have to set the record straight even though you kind of just did.  I will look more into it.

David Hofmann
David Hofmann
10/29/2008 2:34:48 PM #

You'll get crazy if trying to please everybody
Learn how to displease them all equally Smile

Cristian Molina
Cristian Molina
10/30/2008 8:48:50 AM #

I agree, a really bad list.

Morgan
Morgan
10/30/2008 1:14:39 PM #

Greetings,
It's not a BAD list except for the one mistake; it's just a much more contemporary and Windows-universe-oriented list than I expected, especially when it started with Ada Lovelace.  Smile  You might look at Grace Hopper as well, one of my personal favorite figures on the history side of computers, who helped develop the first compilers, and is generally credited with the computer use of the word 'bug', after a moth that made Univac fail...

--  Morgan



Lawrence Salberg
Lawrence Salberg
11/2/2008 9:27:50 AM #

How did Bill Gates make this list? I didn't think he was a programmer. Didn't he yank MS-DOS from IBM or someone? Kinda/sorta the same with Linus. Except he's probably a lot smarter than Gates programming-wise. Building upon someone's success is one thing, but I'm a bit suspect about these two.

Also, I think Larry Wall of Perl should be on it, and maybe Rasmus Lerdorf of PHP. Or maybe you were only considering traditional compiled programming stuff, not interpreted languages... I dunno.

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