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Vinit Kumar

An Incomplete List Of Programming Heroes I admire

January 23, 2020

This is a WIP List. These are some people I remembered on top of my head. I will be updating it soon.

This essay will focus on these things:

  • What they are good at?
  • What have they done?
  • What can we learn from them?
  • Life lessons

Heroes

Daniel is the lead author and creator of the CURL project. If you deal with any web-services as a developer or end-user, you must have used his code. Not only does he lead the development of CURL, but he also live-streams his coding sessions for us mere mortals to learn from. His streams are always to the point and are high in educational content.

Daniel is excellent at system programming, C and networking in particular.

We can learn from Daniel is that we can succeed and have a lasting impact if we stick to a goal and purpose long enough and work hard.

Brad currently works with the Go team. In a previous life, he had founded LiveJournal, wrote Memcached and many other free software that he gave away for free. He is probably my personal favorite and it is always nice to see how he approaches programming and his personal life.

He is one of the most accomplished programmers of the recent generation, and he just keeps on writing code that matters and mostly gives it away for free.

Brad also seems like an excellent dad and family man (from his twitter feed) and it is especially inspiring to me as a Dad and family man too.

Antirez is the lead and creator of popular Open Source database Redis. He is a great programmer and very humble in person. I have never learned more from any other programmer that what I learned from him. Just read this blog post and you will understand what I am talking about http://antirez.com/news/124

He writes his code in C “that almost reads like poetry” in Vim. He is very strong in networking, data structures, and algorithms. You can learn more by reading his code and blogs than any other book in the field of system programming. He is also a family man and often advocates having a healthy work-life balance and it is almost inspiring to emulate his journey.

Game developer of great games like “The Witness”, he is highly opinionated, charismatic and speaks what’s on his mind. He mostly has very good advice about programming and doesn’t hesitate to call a spade a spade. In addition to working on this new game, he has also been writing a new programming language called Jai. It’s a Systems programming language that compiles fast and aims to replace C++ for writing the game engines. He also regularly live-streams his coding sessions, where he sometimes works on the engine and on the compiler.

Listening and reading to him, inspires me to think deeply and work hard on improving my craft.

David Beazely is one of the best teachers of Python in the world. He is like this mad Computer Scientist that just keeps on producing great software and resources regularly and every time he surpasses his past standards that are already very high.

I also relate and learn more from him as he is a Python Guru and Python has been the source of most of my income to date. His enthusiasm and spirit towards programming and Python are infectious and I just love watching his talks.

Raymond as been a Python Core Developer for over a decade or more and is a fantastic Python educator. His talks show his deep knowledge of Python and programming in general. Plus, he is a fantastic speaker. He is probably one of my favorite speakers in any programming language community. People like him are a gift for people like me who are self-taught and can’t afford the costly training materials or courses.

He is probably one of the most gifted systems programmer. Recently, he has been programming a lot in Rust and his talks are always filled with a lot of useful information. I have not done a lot of System Programming in my daily work but it always fancies me, and I am sure going to do more of it in the future.

Guido is simply amazing. His work changed the lives of many people including me. In a world filled with difficult programming languages, he made a simple and powerful programming language that was welcoming and gave me the confidence of implementing my ideas into code. He is not just very technically strong, but he is also a very nice person and is doing a lot for diversity and inclusiveness. He also gave up his BDFL status last year and Python is being run by an elected group of people (core devs).

Python has been the key point in my life. It has provided me with a respectable job and has enabled me to provide for my family. I will always thank Guido for that.

Remy is an awesome British programmer and an all-around great guy. He runs his own company and has been one of most influential JavaScript programmers. He writes useful tools and services (like nodemon, jsbin and gives it all for free). His livestreams are also informative and there is a lot you can learn from watching him code and debug. I give him credit for a lot of my JS knowledge. I have been following and learning from him a lot from the start of my professional programming journey since(2012) and remember him using Chrome dev tools as an editor for development. He is also a family man and is a great chap to look up to.


Hi there, I am Vinit Kumar. I am a software engineer from India 🇮🇳 who loves making computers do things and admires good books, music, art and coffee. You can read more about me.

Find my resume, values and  code here.

© 2020, Vinit Kumar