October 13, 2011
Two technological giants have passed away within a week of each other, and few have heard of Dennis Ritchie.
When I got my first computer in grade school, the first programming languages I learned were naturally BASIC and Pascal. When I was in high school and got serious in programming, I taught myeslf C and Smalltalk. Eventually, I went to collage to learn real computer science. Strangely enough, I was taught Modula-2 and assembly language (the joke was, we write VAX assembly language with Sun, and write 68K assembly language with VAX) while in classes, but outside of classes, I taught myself Visual Basic and some C++. (Java and Python and Ruby and .NET all came after.)
Although I never became the Ferrari-driving hotshot demigod coder that I wished to be when I was young, and I rarely do any coding now, but what I've learned both by myself and in school have had huge impacts in my thinking and working style. Thank you, Dennis.