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Search - "rich hickey"
There are a couple of them to list! But to sum my main ones(biggest personal heroes):
John McCarthy, one of the founding fathers of Artificial Intelligence and accredited with coining such term(sometimes before 1960 if memory serves right), a mathematical prodigy, the man based the original model of the Lisp programming language in lambda calculus. Many modern concepts that we have in programming where implemented in one way or another from his systems back in the day, and as a data analyst and ML nut.....well I am a big fan.
Herb Sutter: C++ programmer extraordinaire. I appreciate him more for his lectures and published articles than anything else. Incredibly smart and down to earth and manages to make C++ less intimidating while still approaching it with respect.
Rich Hickey: The mastermind behind Clojure, the Lisp dialect for the JVM. Rich is really talented and his lectures behind his motivations and reasons behind everything he does with Clojure are fascinating to see.
Ryan Dahl: Awww shit y'all know how it is. The man changed web development both in the backend and the frontend for good. The concept of people writing their own servers to run their pages was not new, but the Node JS runtime environment made it more widely available to people by means of a simple to use language that was already popular with web developers. I would venture to say that Ryan's amazing contributions to JS made the language better, as it stands, the language continues to evolve and new features that make it overall better keep being added. He is currently building Deno, which would be a runtime environment for TypeScript, in Rust.
Anders Hejlsberg: This dude was everywhere man....the original author of Turbo Pascal and the lead of Delphi back in the day. These RAD tools paved the way for what would be a revolution in the computing world. The dude is also the lead architect and designer of the C# programming language as well as TypeScript.
This fucker is everywhere and I love it.
Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto: Matsumoto san is the creator of the Ruby programming language. Not only am I a die hard fan of Ruby, but of the core philosophies that the man keeps as the core of his language design: Make the developer happy, principle of least surprise. Also I follow: minswan which is a term made by the Ruby community that states Mats is nice so we are nice. <---- because being cool to others is better than being a passive aggressive cunt.
Steve Wozniak: I feel as if the man does not get enough recognition...the man designed the Apple || computer which (regardless of how much most of y'all bitch and whine) paved the way for modern micro computers. Dude is also accredited with designing one of the first programmable universal remotes(which momma said was shitty) but he did none the less.
Alan Kay: Developed Smalltalk and the original OOP way of doing things. Smalltalk as a concept is really fucking interesting. If you guys ever get the chance, play with Pharo, which is a modern Smalltalk. The thing is really interesting and the overall idea of Smalltalk can be grasped in very little time. It sucks because the software scales beautifully in terms of project building, the idea of hoisting a program as its own runtime environment and ide by preserving state through images is just mind blowing to me. Makes file based programs feel....well....quaint.
Those are some of the biggest dudes for me. I know that the list is large, but I wanted to give credit to the people that inspired me the most. Honorary mention goes to other language creators and engineers of course, but it would be way too large to list!9
This talk by Rich Hickey had a tremendous influence in how I approach my work:
His Hammock Driven Development is my absolute favorite when it comes to work principles in programming/engineering. It also the one that is the hardest to explain to most PMs and leads because it can look like you are slacking off while others are producing hundreds LOCs. That you'll write better, less error prone code that won't need as much QA iterations is something you first have to prove to them but to me, it's well worth the effort.
If you have 40 minutes of time, do yourself a favor and watch the video. Maybe it'll have as much influence on you as it had on me 😃