Early Programming Heroes

I’ve been interested in Steve Yegge’s assertion that one’s tendencies as far as programming preferences are formed partially by who their heroes are in the software world. In an attempt to analyze my tendencies, here are my formative heroes:

  • Charles Moore – creator of Forth programming language
  • John Osterhout – creator of Tcl programming language
  • Richard Suchenwirth – amazing programmer using Tcl
  • Jean-Claude Wippler – amazing programmer using C, C++, Tcl – creator of Metakit, Critcl, starkits
  • Richard Hipp – amazing programmer using C, Tcl – creator of Fossil, Sqlite
  • Paul Graham – writer, entrepreneur and popularizer of Common Lisp
  • Richard Gabriel – writer, entrepreneur and user of Common Lisp
  • Linus Torvalds – amazing programmer using C, creator and maintainer of Linux kernel and git source control program
  • Larry Wall – creator of Perl programming language
  • Brian Kernighan – amazing programmer using C, co-creator of Awk programming language
  • Dennis Ritchie – creator of C programming language
  • Joel Spolsky – writer, programmer and entrepreneur

Later Programming Heroes

Here are people that I have more recently looked up to:

  • Zed Shaw – amazing programmer using C, Python, Lua (and previously Ruby)
  • _why – amazing programmer using Ruby
  • Charles Petzold – writer, programmer using C, C#
  • Donald Knuth – writer, amazing algorithm researcher

Personal Programming Heroes

Generally at each job I’ve had, there have been one or two guys who are just amazing, who get things done and are amazingly productive and solve problems others don’t. Here is a list of the guys I’ve personally known who have blown me away with their abilities:

  • Richard Gottleber – sysadmin, amazing programmer using shell
  • Some guy at Language Computer Corp – amazing programmer using PHP
  • James King – amazing developer, generalist
  • Rich Hansen – amazing programmer (probably in any language used)
  • Michal Chaniewski – amazing programmer using C#
  • Henry Dawson – generalist power user and database developer
  • Reed Parsons – generalist power user and database developer

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