Your personal (programming) hero - Old school stuff

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pranomostro
Long time nixers
The unix history is riddled with different interesting personalities,
ranging from original unix developers over important OSS programmers to
corporate programmers who worked on solaris.

I remember there being a really good page about for the more or less important developers of unix, but I can't find it.

Anyway, who is your personal hero when it comes to programming and especially unix?
Halfwit
Members
I'm a huge fan of Brian Kernighan. From Awk, to his ability to write amazingly good books he's always been someone I look to.
apk
Long time nixers
guys i mean we can circle jerk all day about dennis richie and ken thompson and alfred aho and brian kernighan but look


the best programmer of all time



is of course rob pike
jkl
Long time nixers
Technically, Dennis Ritchie, the actual father of Unix and C.

Other than Dennis Ritchie, I'd probably vote for Bill Joy, knowing that he was involved in the founding of Java so he's far from being an overall hero either... :-)

edit: removed Thompson bashing, decided to ignore him instead. Oops!
venam
Administrators
It depends on your definition of a hero.
I like the second one.
Quote:HERO:
1. In mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.
2. A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life: soldiers and nurses who were heroes in an unpopular war.
3. A person noted for special achievement in a particular field: the heroes of medicine. See Synonyms at celebrity.
A hero for me would be a person who acted in a selfless manner to achieve a greater good for others.
Most of heros sacrifice their life for a single goal.

The examples in the first and third categories are plenty in the computing field but I can't find much if any in the second one.
robotchaos
Long time nixers
mine is definitely ritchie. mathematicians solve all problems.
pranomostro
Long time nixers
Maybe "giving up ones life" should not be taken too literally, but instead
as "devoting ones whole life to a single purpose".

I think that Richard Stallman would fit into that category quite well,
he has invested his whole life for improving the situation of free software
all over the world without ever really asking for anything. I admire
that, although I don't agree with him on a technical level.

I always thought that Doug McIlroy was a really interesting character (there
are some ironic myths ( https://code.9front.org/hg/plan9front/fi.../dougfacts ) sorrounding him),
but to boil it down: he was the one who invented pipes.
mrtn
Members
+1 for Stallman
Although I disagree with him on several aspects.
jkl
Long time nixers
(25-02-2017, 03:25 PM)pranomostro Wrote: Maybe "giving up ones life" should not be taken too literally

Good developers have no life.
pranomostro
Long time nixers
(27-02-2017, 05:48 AM)mrtn Wrote: +1 for Stallman
Although I disagree with him on several aspects.

Politically or technologically?
rocx
Members
(27-02-2017, 02:55 PM)pranomostro Wrote: Politically or technologically?

Culinary aspects.
mrtn
Members
(27-02-2017, 02:55 PM)pranomostro Wrote: Politically or technologically?

I guess it's ideologically.
For starters, he's an omnivore. I am not. In addition to that, I disagree with his simple black and white view on the world. You can't classify everything in these two categories. I admire him in a way, that he's able to live his life the way he does, but for me, that's too extreme.
venam
Administrators
Do you have someone that inspires you on your computing journey, or maybe a mentor, or someone you find "heroic"?
Do you have a story related to them, something they made you realize?
seninha
Long time nixers
Kernighan is definitely my programming hero.
I have read some of his books and have a lot more of him on my queue of books to read.
thrakkar
Members
When I was a young lad I met an absolute wizard of a technician. He could make equipment do whatever he wanted it to do and understood the way all the systems were integrated so well he could visualize circuits and explain them to you without consulting a diagram. He never consulted a manual or technical document unless he wanted to illustrate a point.

Even though he was technically “in charge” of the entire facility he wouldn’t hesitate to grab an equipment cart, remove a floor panel or rack door, and get in there elbow deep with an oscilloscope and a tool kit. It wasn’t until much later that I learned just how unusual this trait is.

The best part was that while he was doing all of this he was also teaching YOU how to do it, and not just at a surface level, but so you could understand how things were working fundamentally. He could explain why the test results meant what they did, and not just “replace board Y in box X” because a flow-chart told you to.

I don’t remember his first name because everyone just called him “Chief” or “Sir” if there was a slight chance you weren’t on good standing with him. He was the first person I’d ever met who was in charge and clearly smarter than everyone around them, including me, and it’s largely his fault my career went the way it did. Now that I think about it he was probably the first real hacker I’d ever met, though I’m certain he didn’t think of himself in that way.

He was such an influence that I can’t begin to explain the things I learned from working with him without many, many more paragraphs, and this is enough story-time-with-uncle-Thrakkar for everyone. Even though he’s not a programming hero (we wrote no code) or even a computer (very different equipment) hero, he showed me that technical skills really can get you somewhere, and that being able to teach those skills to others is just as enjoyable as honing them.

To this day I maintain that if I’d have been able to hook a cable up between he and I to download all that knowledge, I would have.