The Creators of 30 Programming Languages: pages, biographies, blogs, interviews

Behind any programming language there is a creator or sometimes a small team. Each language has a story and a philosophy and each creator had a motivation, a problem to solve.

Programming languages influence and sometimes determine the way programmers solve problems and the way problems can be solved. They gain supporters, make enemies and cause flames and “religious” wars.

I think it is very useful for every programmer to understand the history of programming languages and also to understand the reasoning and the way of thinking of the programming language designers; for the programming languages you love but, even more, for those you don’t like or understand.

I compiled here a list of languages with their creators and some links to information about them. I tried to include home pages, blogs, Wikipedia links and interviews.
I apologize for any mistake and I will correct it if/when I am notified.

Most of the interviews are extremely interesting. Don’t miss Grace Hopper’s interview.

Jump to language
Ada Awk BASIC C C++
C# Caml/OCaml COBOL Delphi Erlang
Fortran Forth Groovy Haskell Java
JavaScript LISP Logo Lua ML
Pascal Perl PHP Python Ruby
Scala Scheme Smalltalk Tcl Visual Basic
Pages Interviews
1. Ada (1983)
Jean Ichbiah
2. Awk (1977)
Alfred Vaino Aho
Peter J. Weinberger
Brian Kernighan
3. BASIC (1964)
John George Kemeny
Thomas Eugene Kurtz
4. C (1972)
Dennis M. Ritchie
5. C++ (1979)
Bjarne Stroustrup
6. C# (2001)
Anders Hejlsberg
Pages Interviews
7. Caml (1985) and OCaml (1996)
Xavier Leroy
Damien Doligez
Didier Rémy
Jérôme Vouillon
8. COBOL (1959)
Grace Hopper
9. Delphi (1995)
Anders Hejlsberg (see above)
Danny Thorpe
Chuck Jazdzewski
10. Erlang (1987)
Joe Armstrong
11. Fortran (1957)
John Backus
12. Forth (1970s)
Charles H. Moore
Pages Interviews
13. Groovy (2003)
Guillaume Laforge
14. Haskell (1990)
Simon Peyton Jones
Philip Wadler
Paul Hudak
15. Java (1995)
James Gosling
16. JavaScript (1995)
Brendan Eich
17. LISP (1958)
John McCarthy
Steve Russell
18. Logo (1967)
Wally Feurzeig
Seymour Papert
Pages Interviews
19. Lua (1993)
Roberto Ierusalimschy
20. ML (1973)
Robin Milner
21. Pascal (1970)
Niklaus Wirth
22. Perl (1987)
Larry Wall
23. PHP (1995)
Rasmus Lerdorf
24. Python (1991)
Guido van Rossum
Pages Interviews
25. Ruby (1995)
Yukihiro Matsumoto
26. Scala (2003)
Martin Odersky
27. Scheme (1970s)
Guy L. Steele Jr.
Gerald Jay Sussman
28. Smalltalk (1980)
Alan Kay
Dan Ingalls
Adele Goldberg
29. Tcl (1988)
John Ousterhout
30. Visual Basic (1991)
Alan Cooper

For an in depth analysis of programming language popularity read:
13 reasons why Ruby, Python and the gang will push Java to die… of old age

20 thoughts on “The Creators of 30 Programming Languages: pages, biographies, blogs, interviews”

  1. Although Anders was the creator of the original TurboPascal compiler that gave birth to Borland, Delphi was more of a collective effort. And Danny Thorpe wasn’t so important at the time, but at later times. AFAIK it was Chuck Jadzewski who was the project leader for Delphi. You should research a little more.

  2. @AC
    Thanks, I fixed it.

    @Patrick
    Thanks, I added Chuck Jazdzewski but I don’t know of any good interview.

    @ ttt
    Thanks, I kick myself for missing Eiffel. I will try to include it.

  3. You might want to take it up to 50 progamming languages, so you could get some of the ones you missed: APL, Algol, SNOBOL, PL/I, Occam among the old ones and Scala, Eiffel, Boo, Groovy and Factor among the new ones.

  4. @Phil L

    Thanks for the link. It is very cool. One thing I would like there – the ability to maximize the plug-in window to get a better view.

  5. I think it is very useful for every programmer to understand the history of programming languages and also to understand the reasoning and the way of thinking of the programming language designers

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