Top 11 Computer Programmers of All Time

The problem with top 10 lists is they never include everyone, but this one goes to 11. My son helped me put this one together. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Throughout the ages, many great minds have arisen from the masses and changed the course of humanity for better or for worse. In the span of only a century humankind has advanced from barely being able to prototype our own armored combat vehicles to now being able to maneuver unmanned combat aeroplanes from the comfort of our own living room on the other side of the world using our watches and phones. How is it that we have managed such a radical feat? It is thanks to some of the greatest minds of our time; computer programmers.

Lady Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace portrait

Lady Ada Lovelace

Computer programming first started with Augusta Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace, born Byron; or as most of the world knows her, Ada Lovelace. Back in the mid 1840s, Charles Babbage hypothesized and attempted the creation of the Analytical Engine, an early mechanical general-purpose computer. His seminar about the engine was translated by Lovelace through a commision of Charles Wheatstone, and in the process of her translating she added quite a few notes including an algorithm for the Analytical Engine to calculate Bernoulli numbers. This algorithm is cited as the first “computer code” as it was a process that was written for the purpose of a machine calculating independent of human correction.

I am more than ever now the bride of science. Religion to me is science, and science is religion. In that deeply-felt truth lies the secret of my intense devotion to the reading of God’s natural works. It is reading Him. His will — His intelligence –Lovelace


Rear Admiral Grace M. Hopper, USN

Commodore Grace M. Hopper, USN

Commodore Grace M. Hopper, USN

Fast forward about a century later and now computers are few and far between and can only do arithmetic, at least, that’s what they say. Grace Hopper however chose not to listen what everyone else was saying the limitations of computers were, and that enabled her to build the world’s first ever compiler, A-0. Even once she had completed her compiler, it took a full four years before anyone even believed her that it even existed. Apparently the impossible does happen sometimes.

If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It is much easier to apologize than it is to get permission. –Hopper

Niklaus Wirth

Niklaus Wirth

Niklaus Wirth

Niklaus E. Wirth is a Swiss computer scientist who achieved his fame through the creation of several different computer languages, Algol W, Euler, Modula, Modula-2, Oberon, Oberon-2, Oberon-07, and Pascal, and due to the widespread use of his book, written in tandem with Kathleen Jensen, The Pascal User Manual And Report served as a basis for many other languages such as Delphi. In addition, in 1984 he won the Turing Award for the number of useful computer languages he created, this award is generally seen as the highest honor in computer programing.

Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster. (AKA Wirth’s Law)

Margaret Hamilton

Margaret Hamilton during the Apollo program

Margaret Hamilton (photo by NASA)

Margaret Hamilton was the Director of the Software Engineering Division for the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory during the time that her division developed the on-board flight software for the Apollo space program. Also, in 1986 she became the founder and CEO of Hamilton Technologies, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a company based around the Universal Systems Language.

The photo is Hamilton standing next to the code she wrote for the Apollo program.

Her Code Got Humans on the Moon—And Invented Software Itself” Wired Magazine, 13-Oct-2015

Donald Knuth

Donald Knuth (photo by Jacob Appelbaum)

Donald Knuth (photo by Jacob Appelbaum)

Donald Knuth is known as the “father of the analysis of algorithms” for many reasons. Take his multi-volume work The Art of Computer Programming for example. This comprehensive monograph takes many of computing’s biggest algorithms and then explains and analyzes them in order to help set forth a compendium of computer science. He is also the creator of the TeX computer typesetting system, the related METAFONT font definition language and rendering system, and the Computer Modern family of typefaces.


Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do. – Knuth

Dennis Ritchie

Dennis Ritchie (photo by Denise Panyik-Dale)

Dennis Ritchie (photo by Denise Panyik-Dale)

Dennis Ritchie created the C programming language and was a partner in creating the Unix operating system. For his work on Unix, him and his partner received the Turing Award in 1983, the Hamming Medal in 1990, and the National Medal of Technology from President Bill Clinton in 1999.


Quote: “[C has] the power of assembly language and the convenience of … assembly language.”

Homepage at Bell Labs


Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson

Kenneth Lane “Ken” Thompson invented the B programming language, the direct predecessor to C invented by Dennis Ritchie, and was one of the creators/early developers of the Plan 9 operating systems. Since 2006, Thompson has worked for Google, where he was a partner in the invention of the Go programming language. Notably, he also did a fairly large amount of computer chess work, including the creation of endgame tablebases and the chess machine Belle.


Bjarne Stroustrup

Bjarne Stroustrup

Bjarne Stroustrup

Bjarne Stroustrup is the creator and early developer of C++, a descendant of Ritchie’s C programing language. He was also elected member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2004, a Fellow of the ACM, an IEEE Fellow, and a Fellow of the Computer History Museum on the basis of his inventing the C++ programing language.

A program that has not been tested does not work. –Stroustrup

Tim Berners-Lee

Tim Berners-Lee (photo by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation)

Tim Berners-Lee (photo by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation)

Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee OM KBE FRS FREng FRSA FBCS, AKA Tim Berners-Lee, is the creator of the World Wide Web in the year 1989, a senior researcher and holder of the founders chair at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a member of the advisory board of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, and was named a member of the board of trustees of the Ford  Foundation.

I think in general it’s clear that most bad things come from misunderstanding, and communication is generally the way to resolve misunderstandings, and the Web’s a form of communications, so it generally should be good. –Berners-Lee

Anders Hejlsberg

Anders Hejlsberg (photo by DBegley)

Anders Hejlsberg (photo by DBegley)

Anders Hejlsberg created Turbo Pascal. He is also the chief architect of Delphi, C#, and TypeScript. In 2001 he received the Dr. Dobb’s Excellence in Programming Award for his contributions to the world of software development. Anders is from Copenhagen, Denmark and graduated from the Technical University of Denmark.

When asked about all he’s accomplished in the world of software development he famously said “we are all standing on the shoulders of giants.” When discussing the influences of previous languages on new languages he said “good ideas don’t just go away.”

Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds (photo by Krd)

Linus Torvalds (photo by Krd)

Linus Torvalds is one of the most influential developers of recent time as the creator and long-time principal developer of the Linux kernel, which later became the kernel for operating systems such as GNU, Android, and Chrome OS. He also has received many many awards: C&C Prize (2010), EFF Pioneer Award (1998), Hall of Fellows of the Computer History Museum (2008), IEEE Computer Pioneer Award (2014), Internet Hall of Fame (2012), Lovelace Medal (2000), Millennium Technology Prize (2012), Takeda Award (2001), Vollum Award (2005), and the World Technology Award (2002).

I’m personally convinced that computer science has a lot in common with physics. Both are about how the world works at a rather fundamental level. The difference, of course, is that while in physics you’re supposed to figure out how the world is made up, in computer science you create the world. Within the confines of the computer, you’re the creator. You get to ultimately control everything that happens. If you’re good enough, you can be God. On a small scale. –Torvalds

Who did we miss? Who would you add?

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Top 10 Reasons to be a Delphi Developer

I found this article on the top 10 reasons to be a Delphi developer. I’m curious what your top reasons to be a Delphi developer would include.

Top 10 Reasons to be a Delphi Developer

DelphiThe job of a software developer is pretty interesting. You learn programming languages to develop a variety of software to digitize the world, but while doing this, you sometimes fall into situations where a small error takes away your sleep for many days and nights. The best of this experience comes out when you actually find the solution and give a tap to you with a smile on your face saying “OMG! Was this small issue making me restless?” It may happen with any software developer, but the final outcome is always pleasing that is why the job of a software developer is pleasing the youth across the globe.

Depending upon the programming languages you have studied and implemented the chances of being stuck in a small issue may vary. A complex language may get you restless nights many times during a software development. On the other hand, an easy programming language with simple syntax writing and other useful features can turn your life as software developer into a life that everyone would love to have. Delphi is such a programming language, which is known-as one of the easiest programming languages with easy-to-write syntax.

Top 10 Reasons to be a Delphi Developer

If you want to be a software developer, you may not want to start with a difficult language, which puts your morale down. So, to keep your passion of being a software developer up with full enthusiasm, starting with Delphi programming language will be a brilliant option. Starting your career as a Delphi Developer brings you several benefits.

Let us have a look at some of the top reasons to understand why you should be a Delphi Developer:

  1. It is a combination of programming language and Software Development Kit (SDK), which allows application development for desktop, mobile, consoles, and web.
  2. It is a simple programming language with clear syntax.
  3. Code written in Delphi, is easily readable; for example, you can concatenate strings using the “+” sign rather than any function.
  4. Documentation of Delphi is well-organized to help you give a quick start.
  5. Comes with an Integrated IDE, which allows you to easily develop GUI using drag & drop, addition of event handlers, and many other features.
  6. Supports real-time testing, making it easier and faster to find and fix issues.
  7. Supports Rapid Application Development (RAD) with features, such as an application framework and visual window layout designer.
  8. Supports client-server architecture and SQL databases.
  9. Supports complete Windows API.
  10. Allows creating components for easy integration in the IDE.
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MVP Spotlight: Dr. Bob Swart

I’ve never asked Bob if he actually has a PhD, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he does in being Awesome. Either-way, he deserves the Dr. title for all the great work he does on his site, speaking at conferences and in his writing.

Currently Bob is enjoying his semi-annual holiday at Euro Disney with his two kids Erik Mark Pascal and Natasha Louise Delphine. Yes, those are their actual names! So cool.

Bob Swart at EuroDisney

I’ve met Bob a few times, once when I was in the Netherlands for the Software Development Conference. That was a great treat, and Bob was amazing to work with. I’ve ran into him at various conferences too.

The most recent time I met Bob was when he was hosting the Delphi Developer Days with Cary Jensen. I was one of the guest speakers. I love the Delphi Developer Days events because they are always full of great technical content, and it is a great opportunity to visit with amazing people like Bob.

Bob is a great guy and an amazing MVP. You can follow his Delphi Notes Weblog, check out his Training and Consultancy events, or his Delphi Clinic for the latest news. If you buy Delphi or RAD Studio from his Webshop then he also includes some of his courseware.

Please join me in thanking Dr. Bob for all he does! He is an outstanding MVP and a great guy.

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MVP Spotlight: Cary Jensen

Cary JensenThere are a handful of people who I believe are key to the developer community, and Cary Jensen is one of them. He’s been a rock in the community since the beginning. Even before Delphi he was instrumental with the Turbo Pascal community.

Cary consults, writes, presents, and trains on Delphi, databases and other related technologies. Cary’s authored over 20 books, with his latest being Delphi in Depth: ClientDataSets, 2nd EditionHe’s also presented multiple RAD-in-Action webinars online. You can catch the replays and check out the accompanying white papers.

Delphi Developer DaysI met Cary the first time in Darmstadt, Germany at the Entwickler Konferenz, aka EKON. I think it was lucky #13. I thought it was rather ironic that we were both from the US, but finally met in Germany. Since then I’ve met with him a few more times in Germany, and he invited me as a guest presenter at his Delphi Developer Days.

Nick HodgesIf you’ve not been to one of his Delphi Developer Days then you really should do what you can to attend this year. Each year he teams up with a co-host, and this year it is none other than Nick Hodges. They just opened registration for the 2 day event, so act fast to take advantage of the very early bird discount.

  • Chicago, Illinois – November 14-15, 2016
  • Baltimore, Maryland – December 5-6, 2016
  • Copenhagen, Denmark – November 24-25, 2016
  • Frankfurt, Germany – November 28-29, 2016

And if none of those date work, then you can catch Cary back in Darmstadt for EKON 20 on November 7th.

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MVP Spotlight: Jordi Corbilla

Jordi CorbillaThis week I wanted to spotlight Jordi Corbilla of London, UK in our Embarcadero MVP Spotlight. Jordi has a fantastic blog Random thoughts on coding and technology where he has some recent posts on working with KinveyParse and BaaS in general.

Beyond BaaS, Jordi is interested in Databases and Artificial Intelligence. He has a GibHub project that contains a series of A.I. Algorithms programmed in Delphi. He also has a Distributed Decision-Making System and a Natural AI in Python. I was also looking at his 2D Physics Engine, but that isn’t necessarily AI related.

Jordi SelfieIn addition to amazing programming skillz, Jordi is also a photographer. I fancy myself a photographer, but it is just a little hobby for me. I tried a selfie similar to his at the left a long time ago, but it didn’t come out as well (I doubt I still have it).

Jordi is a pretty amazing photographer. I rather like this photo (mostly for the subject matter) . . .


But he has a lot of other great photos on his Flickr and Facebook.

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Cool App Contender: Floccipender the Word Descrambler

FloccipenderI used to be big into some word games on my smart phone. I couldn’t help but think “I could write a program to solve this,” and it turned out some people did. Most of the solvers I saw were pretty slow or limited. Enter Floccipender – the super fast, super powerful word descrambler.

Get it on Google Play

The name comes from Floccinaucinihilipilification and floccipend which mean “to estimating or categorizing something as worthless, or regard as insignificant.” Floccipender is anything but insignificant.

In the overview video Anthony West of ASW Software goes so far as to show the custom algorithm that descrambles the longest word in the english language (pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis at 45 letters) immediately. The application is developed with FireMonkey and C++Builder for Android.

As Anthony West describes Floccipender:

It is a really fast word descrambler and single word anagram finder. It is extremely fast at descrambling words! 12+ scrambled characters are solved in less than a second on a modern phone.

The main point of this app is how fast it works. It uses my own unique algorithm that determines likeness of words, regardless of their scrambled order. Beyond that, it is a fun app that comes in handy for solving word problems, or for cheating at scrabble.

There is a second video that shows the app running on an actual Android device, and it is just as fast.

I love cool algorithms and am interested in digging into it in more detail to understand how it works. I’ve got my suspicions, but not positive.

Built with Embarcadero C++BuilderPowered by Embarcadero FireMonkey


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MVP of the Week: Germán Estévez

German Estevez RuizThis week I am spotlighting Germán “Neftalí” Estévez from Barcelona, Spain. He is a regular contributor on the ClubDelphi forms, which he also administers. You can also find him on Stack Overflow.

Stack Overflow Netfalí

But I want to highlight a couple of his recent blog posts which can be found at and althought he’s started blogging on too. His blog posts are in Spanish, but Google Translate takes care of most the heavy lifting, and his code samples are in the common Delphi.

Managing Audio on Android

This is a great guide to managing the hardware on Android. It shows how to work directly with the Audio Manager via the Java bridge. This is also useful if you are not familiar with using Android APIs directly.

The NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day

This is something I’ve thought about doing in the past. The APOD is a great new photo everyday. Turns out they have a web service you can use to access that picture. Germán shows how to access the web service, then download and display the pictures.

One thing I like is he includes short videos with many of his blog posts, as well as source code download.

Embarcadero MVP

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Cool App Contender: AlignMix Professional

AlignMixI’ll be honest, if you described AlignMix to me I might fall asleep, but after seeing the video of it in action I find I am trying to find scenarios to use it! Simply put, AlignMix is used to divide and map territories. But wow, it does an amazing job at it.

Embarcadero Cool App ContestI’ve been in situations where I was trying to divide up maps for different purposes. We were using paper, and it was tedious. You would move one line, and then total up the different territories only to find you needed to move another line. At the time I just assumed it was one of those narrow niche projects that wasn’t worth creating a software solution. I’m glad I was wrong.

According to Steve of AlignMix

AlignMix is a Geographic Information System which helps companies to design and manage sales territories for their sales force. It enable the user to easily move the territory boundaries and re-assign zip codes (or postcodes) to make the territories fair and balanced. It was launched on April 8th 2016

AlignMix is cool because it’s so easy to use. We have focused on giving the user the best possible user experience. Even though designing sales territories isn’t normally regarded as an easy and enjoyable task we are getting feedback from users saying they just love to play with AlignMix. You can see user testimonials and more on the website

It is a Windows desktop app, but is also designed to work with touch screens. Developed with Delphi and the VCL it makes heavy use of the Parallel Programming Library and Generic collections. It also uses DevExpress Bars (Ribbon) and Edits, TMS Components, TMS FlexCel, TChart Professional, Google Chrome Tabs, OnGuard and EurekaLog.

Built with Embarcadero Delphi


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Cool App Contender: Mimix 3D Profile Scanner

Embarcadero Cool App Contest

This brings me to the next contender in the Embarcadero Cool App Contest is the Mimix 3D Profile Scanner by intricad. It uses a really cool technique to capture a 3D impression with only your monitor and a standard webcam.

mimix 3D Profile Scanner Personal allows you to make 3D impressions using your webcam and PC monitor screen. mimix 3D Profile Scanner Personal uses a set of 4 black and white patterns which are projected by your computer screen while your camera captures the images of your face in front of the screen. The images are then processed to reveal a 3D impression.

Under proper lighting conditions mimix 3D can capture scenes and objects with incredible detail recovery.

Create cool effects by relighting the scene or 3D print your impression.

It is built for Windows using Delphi, VCL, TMS components, Eurekalog and ShellBrowser.

Check out the video or download the scanner for yourself!

Built with Delphi

Be sure to enter you cool app for a chance to win a $2000 credit. New winners every month!

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Cool App Contender: Rain in Denmark

Embarcadero Cool App ContestA few years ago my wife and I flew to Denmark to meet Jens Fudge and I had the great opportunity to speak at the annual DAPUG 2 day event. My first trip to Denmark was a great treat. This brings me to the next contender in the Embarcadero Cool App Contest: Rain in Denmark by DHI Group.

Rain in Denmark

A complete (Windows , OS X, iOS &  Android) cross platform suite of apps to access the Local Area Weather Radars installed here in Denmark by DHI Group. “This app provides you with up to date information on rain in parts of Denmark using DHI’s Local Area Weather Radar (LAWR). You can animate the radar images, load data from specific period, see plots of mean area precipitation for selected calculation areas and more.”

Rain in Denmark is built with RAD Studio using Delphi, FireMonkey, TMS WebGMapsRemObjects SDK and AppAnalytics with support for Windows, OS X, iOS & Android.

Check out the video, or download the app and check it out!

Download on the App StoreDownload on the Mac App StoreGet it on Google Play

Windows download coming soon!

Built with RAD StudioPowered by FireMonkey



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