The All-Time Greatest Computer Engineers

The world in which we live is increasingly digital, and computer engineers continue to play a pivotal role in that world. The profession itself isn’t limited to the ability to code well, however. It’s also about the development and design of new applications, technologies, and software that offer us new ways of doing things. So if you are considering entering the profession of computer engineering, below are some of the greatest computing minds in history to hopefully inspire you.

Tim Berners Lee

The British computer scientist is responsible for the creation of the World Wide Web. In 1989, Sir Bernard and his team implemented the very first communication between a server and a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client, which opened the gateway to the sharing of data across a virtual world. Lee was presented with the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering for his work, and also received the honour of being inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame.

Tim Berners Lee
Tim Berners Lee

Linus Benedict Torvalds

The Finnish-American Torvalds was a computer engineer who was partly responsible for the Linux Kernel. As a result of his important role in the project, he was offered the position of chief architect and is presently the kernel project coordinator. He was presented with the Millennium Technology Prize in 2012 to honour his work on the open source operating system. He also played a key role in diving log software Subsurface, and distribution version control system, Git.

James Gosling

Gosling, who is an Officer for the Order of Canada, will always be known as the man who invented the Java programming language. App developers have been using the language since 1994 to code for Android and computer applications. Without it, today’s smartphones would unlikely be what we know them to be. The fact that he was appointed as the Foreign Associate member of the United States National Academy of Engineering demonstrates just how highly his work is regarded.

James Gosling
James Gosling

Dennis Ritchie

Known as the man who invented the UNIX operating system and the C programming language, Ritchie was a celebrated computer engineer who has often been awarded for his work. His pioneering achievements led the way for a number of software applications, new-age operating systems such as Linux and Windows, and embedded system development. Richie’s death in 2011 led to the release of the Fedora Linux 16 in his memory.

Dennis Ritchie
Dennis Ritchie

Donald Knuth

Donald Ervin Knuth, the American scientist, is known as the ‘father of the analysis of algorithms’. The one-time Professor Emeritus retired from the renowned Stanford University and has a reputation for his development and systemisation of formal maths techniques for analysing computational complexity of algorithms. He has contributed important work in the progression of theoretical commuter since, as well as bringing the asymptotic notation into focus.

This certainly isn’t a comprehensive list but with the right career choices and education, you could also play an important contribution to a significant movement in computer engineering and one day find yourself on such a list.