10 Most Influential Programmers of Our Days

The different software, apps, and programming languages you use every day haven’t appeared from nowhere – someone, somewhere, wrote the code. This also goes for the coding platforms and hardware that those apps run on. And the Web and the entire Internet itself as well. So who’s at the top of the programming pyramid that has created the biggest part of the IT world? Check our blog post to learn more about 10 of most influential programmers living and working today.


Linus Torvalds

He created Linux, a free operating system, while working in his dorm room at the University of Helsinki. Nowadays, Linux is the operating system of most data centers, supercomputers, and server farms throughout the world. Today its open-source platform is developed by dedicated enthusiasts all over the world.

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Torvalds is also known for his sharp tongue. At one recent talk, an audience member asked if his manner could turn off members of the Linux community and he replied “I don’t care about you”. Among developers there are jokes about Tornalds, like among ordinary people about Chuck Norris.

Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg is famous for creating Facebook from a Harvard dorm room. Facebook’s famous “move fast and break things“ motivates young programmers to develop startup cultures all over the world.

mark-zuckerberg

His personal philosophies about social engagements continue to drive Facebook forward. He believes that a smaller and more flexible team delivers better results. So “only” 10,000 employees support the functionality of the network that has more than 1 billion users.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

He is the only one from this entire list who earned a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II. He invented the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), the technology on which the entire Web is built.

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Right now Berners-Lee is head at the Alliance for Affordable Internet, a non-profit organization that is supported by Google, Microsoft, Facebook, with a goal of making broadband Internet access available for everybody in the world.

Brendan Eich

He is the inventor of JavaScript, which is basically the standard programming language for web app development.

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He has been the CEO and CTO of Mozilla, the company which makes the Firefox web browser. Last month he also announced the creating of “WebAssembly”, a new binary syntax for safe low-level code that could work better than JavaScript.

Donald Knuth

His academic works in computer science has earned him the title of the “father of the analysis of algorithms”. All computer algorithms, from a Facebook feed to Amazon suggestions, owes something to his work.

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At his age (77 years old) he’s still writing a multi-volume work “The Art of Computer Programming”, while being an honorary professor at Stanford.

David Heinemeier Hansson

This Danish programmer created Ruby on Rails, a super-popular web programming framework. This earned him the 2005 “Hacker of the Year” award from Google. He is also a partner at the web-based software development company – Basecamp.

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An interesting fact is that Hansson is also a racecar driver and has driven in the 24 hours of Le Man race since 2012. In 2014, he won this race with his team.

Bram Cohen

He invented the BitTorrent protocol in 2001 that brought users faster downloads by breaking a huge file into a bunch of smaller ones that can be downloaded concurrently.

Bram Cohen

BitTorrent is really popular now with an estimated quarter of a billion users worldwide. Last year, Thom Yorke (Radiohead) distributed a new album exclusively on BitTorrent. At the same time, its anonymous nature and download speed have made it popular tool in music, video, and game piracy.

James Gosling

Gosling invented Java, which is almost tied with JavaScript as being the most popular programming language in the world (it’s the same for the Ukrainian IT world – check Programming languages popularity among Ukrainian developers).

james-gosling

He invented Java while working at Sun Microsystems. After Oracle purchased it, Gosling left the company and became one of Oracle’s biggest critics. Since then he joined a startup called Liquid Robotics.

Bjarne Stroustrup

Stroustrup, a Danish computer scientist, invented the C++ programming language in 1978 by taking the C language and adding new features that made it more usable for many developers.

bjarne-stroustrup

He still works and is quite busy as the College of Engineering Chair in Computer Science at Texas A&M University, a visiting professor at Columbia University, and he works as a consultant at Morgan Stanley.

John Carmack

Carmack is a co-founder of id Software and is best known for creating Doom. He seems to be a pioneer of 3D graphics tricks and techniques that are still used today.

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Nowadays he’s working at Facebook’s Oculus VR as its CTO, bringing his knowledge and skills to the development of the next level of virtual reality.

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