We missed this a while back with all the pre-Holiday rush, but IT-News Australia published the list of the top ten geeks of all time. And yes, it is an article which uses the word ‘geek’ in the positive sense, the way we used to use the word ‘hacker’.
The list is worth pursuing, because it reminds us of all the people without whom we web developers wouldn’t have a job today:
Linus Torvalds – Maybe you don’t use Linux on your desktop (yet), but it is certainly on the job every time you use the Internet. After all, every time you use Google, you’re using Linux.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee – Made the World Wide Web. ‘Nuff said.
Marc Andreessen – Made the first WWW browser. Also ’nuff said.
Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce – Invented the integrated circuit. Well, yeah, there’s that.
Richard Stallman – Together with Torvalds, has basically single-handedly kept the flame of intelligent computer use and computing freedom alive. Chances are some of your favorite tools exist under the banner of the GPL license.
There’s many more who deserve mention, but I have to admit that of all the top ten lists of influential people in computing, this one is the most accurate.