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The i-Technology Right Stuff

Searching for the Twenty Top Software People in the World

Related Links:

  • Wanted: 19 More of the Top Software People in the World
  • Sung and Unsung i-Technology Heroes
  • Who's Missing from SYS-CON's i-Technology Top Twenty?"
  • Our search for the Twenty Top Software People in the World is nearing completion. In the SYS-CON tradition of empowering readers, we are leaving the final "cut" to you, so here are the top 40 nominations in alphabetical order.

    Our aim this time round is to whittle this 40 down to our final twenty, not (yet) to arrange those twenty in any order of preference. All you need to do to vote is to go to the Further Details page of any nominee you'd like to see end up in the top half of the poll when we close voting on Christmas Eve, December 24, and cast your vote or votes. To access the Further Details of each nominee just click on their name. Happy voting!


    In alphabetical order the nominees are:


  • Tim Berners-Lee: "Father of the World Wide Web" and expectant father of the Semantic Web
  • Joshua Bloch: Formerly at Sun, where he helped architect Java's core platform; now at Google
  • Grady Booch: One of the original developers of the Unified Modeling Language
  • Adam Bosworth: Famous for Quattro Pro, Microsoft Access, and IE4; then BEA, now Google
  • Don Box: Coauthor of SOAP
  • Stewart Brand: Cofounder in 1984 of the WELL bulletin board
  • Tim Bray: One of the prime movers of XML, now with Sun
  • Dan Bricklin: Cocreator of VisiCalc, the first PC spreadsheet
  • Larry Brilliant: Cofounder in 1984 of the WELL bulletin board
  • Sergey Brin: Son-of-college-math-professor turned cofounder of Google, Inc.
  • Dave Cutler: The brains behind VMS; hired away by Microsoft for Windows NT
  • Don Ferguson: Inventor of the J2EE application server at IBM
  • Roy T. Fielding: Primary architect of HTTP 1.1 and a founder of the Apache Web server
  • Bob Frankston: Cocreator of VisiCalc, the first PC spreadsheet
  • Jon Gay: The "Father of Flash"
  • James Gosling: "Father of Java" (though not its sole parent)
  • Anders Hejlsberg: Genius behind the Turbo Pascal compiler, subsequently "Father of C#"
  • Daniel W. Hillis: VP of R&D at the Walt Disney Company; cofounder, Thinking Machines
  • Miguel de Icaza: Now with Novell, cofounder of Ximian
  • Martin Fowler: Famous for work on refactoring, XP, and UML
  • Bill Joy: Cofounder and former chief scientist of Sun; main author of Berkeley Unix
  • Mitch Kapor: Designer of Lotus 1-2-3, founder of Lotus Development Corporation
  • Brian Kernighan: One of the creators of the AWK and AMPL languages
  • Mitchell Kertzman: Former programmer, founder, and CEO of Powersoft (later Sybase)
  • Klaus Knopper: Prime mover of Knoppix, a Linux distro that runs directly from a CD
  • Craig McClanahan: Of Tomcat, Struts, and JSF fame
  • Nathan Myhrvold: Theoretical and mathematical physicist, former CTO at Microsoft
  • Tim O'Reilly: Publisher, open source advocate; believer that great technology needs great books
  • Jean Paoli: One of the co-creators of the XML 1.0 standard with the W3C; now with Microsoft
  • John Patrick: Former VP of Internet technology at IBM, now "e-tired"
  • Rob Pike: An early developer of Unix and windowing system (GUI) technology
  • Dennis Ritchie: Creator of C and coinventor of Unix
  • Richard Stallman: Free software movement's leading figure; founder of the GNU Project
  • Bjarne Stroustrup: The designer and original implementor of C++
  • Andy Tanenbaum: Professor of computer science, author of Minix
  • Ken Thompson: Coinventor of Unix
  • Linus Torvalds: "Benevolent dictator" of the Linux kernel
  • Alan Turing: Mathematician; author of the 1950 paper "Computing Machinery and Intelligence"
  • Guido van Rossum: Author of the Python programming language
  • Ann Winblad: Former programmer, cofounder of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners

    Do vote, and we'll bring you the full results - including a selection of such additional comments on the nominations as you may care to leave via our feedback system - in the January 2005 issue of JDJ.

    Related Links:
  • Wanted: 19 More of the Top Software People in the World
  • Sung and Unsung i-Technology Heroes
  • Who's Missing from SYS-CON's i-Technology Top Twenty?"
  • More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

    Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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    Most Recent Comments
    Agility Pays 12/09/04 03:34:19 AM EST

    There are bound to be glaring omissions in any list. It would have been good to see a few more names from the 17 developers who met in Feb 2001 to discuss problems in software development and who devised the so-called "Agile Manifesto." I see that Martin Fowler is here but what about Kent Beck, Alistair Cockburn, Ron Jeffries, Robert "Uncle bob" Martin, and Dave Thomas - people who have all made substantial contributions to software development?

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