- 01. Programmer: Margaret Hamilton
- 02. Niklaus Wirth, Language Developer
- 03. Larry Page, Google Programmer
- 04. Famous Programmers: James Gosling
- 05. The Famous Programmer Bill Gates
- 06. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Programmer
- 07. Known Programmer: Ken Thompson
- 08. Linus Torvalds, an Open-Source Programmer
- 09. Celebrated Programmer: Grace Hopper
- 10. Ada Lovelace, the First Programmer
- 11. Steve Wozniak, the Apple programmer
- 12. Famous Programmer: Alan Turing
Many computer scientists have revolutionised the world of programming, sometimes without even knowing it. From Margaret Hamilton to Steve Jobs, to Alan Turing, there are many great names in the history of programming languages.
Programmer: Margaret Hamilton
Does Margaret Hamilton ring a bell? Without her, the Apollo 11 mission would have been a failure.
Margaret Heafield, now Margaret Heafield Hamilton, was born on 17 August 1936 in the United States. A computer scientist and systems engineer, she became a business leader when she founded Hamilton Technologies in 1986. This company developed a new language called Universal Systems Language (USL).
But it was primarily at NASA that the scientist made her mark. Margaret Hamilton is known for having corrected the programmes of the Apollo 11 missions. While development was often a subject reserved for men, Margaret Hamilton was the one that had spotted faults in the control system for the moon landing.
She then received the NASA Exceptional Space Act Award for scientific and technical contributions. She then became director of the software engineering department at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory and worked on the Apollo3 space programme before starting her own company.
A name to remember!
Niklaus Wirth, Language Developer
Niklaus Emil Wirth was born on 15 February 1934 in Winterthur, Switzerland. He is a professor of computer science and the inventor of several programming languages. He is particularly known for having developed the languages Pascal, Euler and Algol. These programs were then used to develop many of today's programming languages.
He graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich as an electronic engineer, and also obtained a Master of Science degree from Laval University and a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in the United States. He then shared his knowledge by publishing various books on programming.
Larry Page, Google Programmer
Born in 1973, Larry Page is known for having created the most famous search engine today alongside Sergey Brin. As a co-founder of Google, he was involved in the development of the search engine algorithm.
Larry Page was immersed in computers at a very early age as his father was behind eGroups, the forerunner of the famous Yahoo. Today he holds the title of "International Leader of the Future Economy" awarded by the World Economic Forum.
Famous Programmers: James Gosling
Few people on earth can boast of having created a programming language used worldwide. But James Gosling can. Born in 1955 in Canada, the computer scientist invented the Java computer language.
This language is now one of the most widely taught and known computer codes in the world. Java is used in particular to build web applications.
James Gosling also created NeWs and GoslingEmacs. There is no doubt that the computer scientist has left his mark on the digital world forever.
The Famous Programmer Bill Gates
Do we even need to introduce Bill Gates? It is impossible not to mention Bill Gates when talking about the most famous programmers on the planet.
Bill Gates is none other than the co-founder of Microsoft and the famous Windows operating system, which he created with Paul Allen when he was only 20 years old. His inventions have long earned him the title of the richest man in the world. However, he has since been dethroned by Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.
Today, the businessman uses his fortune for charity but is no longer in the heart of programming.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook Programmer
Like Bill Gates, it is impossible not to mention Mark Zuckerberg. Born on 14 May 1984 in White Plains, New York, the young computer scientist began coding in high school.
He soon programmed one of the first social networks: Facebook. This platform was then used to reference the students of his university and then spread to other schools in the area until it became the worldwide success that it is today.
The social network was founded in 2004 in partnership with Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin and Chris Hughes. Mark Zuckerberg is now the majority shareholder and CEO of Facebook and is one of the world's wealthiest people.
Here's a fun fact: Mark Zuckerberg is colour blind. The colour blue is the colour he can see best, which is why Facebook is now blue.
Known Programmer: Ken Thompson
Kenneth Lane Thompson, known as Ken Thompson, was born on 4 February 1943 in New Orleans, USA. This American computer scientist created the Unix and Plan 9 systems as well as the B and Go programming languages.
The Unix system may not sound familiar to you. Yet it is the basis for the operation of many smartphones, military systems and others.
Linus Torvalds, an Open-Source Programmer
Linus Benedict Torvalds was born on 28 December 1969 in Helsinki, Finland. He is world-famous for having created the Linux operating system, an open-source operating system that revolutionises the way computers work.
Unlike Windows or Apple, the Linux system is completely free and accessible to all. Linus Torvalds created this system at the age of 21 and remains the leader of the system. He is known as the "Benevolent Dictator for Life".
The developer has also developed a decentralised version management software Git and the Subsurface dive logging and planning software.
Alongside Shinya Yamanaka, he won the Millennium Technology Prize awarded by the Technology Academy Finland. This title is awarded to him according to Wikipedia "in recognition of his creation of a new open-source operating system for computers that led to the widely used Linux kernel".
Celebrated Programmer: Grace Hopper
Grace Murray Hopper was born on 9 December 1906 in New York and died on 1 January 1992 in Arlington County. This American computer scientist is known as the designer of the first compiler in 1951 (A-0 System) and the Cobol language in 1959.
In 1957, Grace Hopper worked for the IBM company. During her career, she came up with the idea that a computer language should be more accessible and with a language closer to English. With this in mind, the developer created the Cobol language in 1959.
Her career continued until 1966 when she was forced to retire from the Navy. However, Grace Hopper was eventually recalled and went on to work on the Cobol and Fortran programming languages. A successful career that earned her the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 2008.
Ada Lovelace, the First Programmer
Ada Lovelace, born Ada Byron, was born on 10 December 1815 in London and died on 27 November 1852 in Marylebone, London. She was a true pioneer in the computer world, notably for having created the first true computer program in history.
She was working on an analytical machine by Charles Babbage, the forerunner of the modern computer. It was in her notes that traces of the first computer language were found. She is also known to have developed certain calculations. Ada Lovelace was the world's first programmer.
Ada Lovelace is one of the most famous historical figures, especially in the Anglo-Saxon and German feminist circles. In every circle, she should be recognized as one of the most important people in the programming world.
Steve Wozniak, the Apple programmer
Stephen Wozniak, often referred to as Steve Wozniak, was born on 11 August 1950 in San Jose, California. Along with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne, he is the co-founder of Apple Computer. The computer scientist created the first Apple computers: Apple I, Apple II, Apple III and Lisa.
Stephen Wozniak is a big fan of Star Trek and has been passionate about electronics since he was a child. His father, an engineer, taught him the basics of mathematics and electronics.
These basics enabled him to build his first radio motor and to become president of his school's electronics club at the age of 13. At the same time, he also won first prize in a competition to create addition and subtraction machines.
He met Steve Jobs and then accompanied him in the creation of the Apple company. He explains that the idea of selling computers came from Steve Jobs and that he was rather sceptical at the beginning of the project. He nevertheless embarked on the project in order to have some nice stories to tell his future grandchildren.
He must have a lot to say by now! His face is less well known than that of Steve Jobs and yet has played a significant role in world history.
Famous Programmer: Alan Turing
Alan Mathison Turing was born on 23 June 1912 in London and died on 7 June 1954 in Wilmslow. A British mathematician and cryptologist, he is best known for the Turing machine and the development of program and programming concepts that were later used in computers in the second half of the 20th century.
He is also well known for decrypting the Enigma machine used by the German armies during the Second World War.
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