He Should Need No Introduction.
His name is Dennis Ritchie.
And while the world paused to pour praise and tribute upon Apple founder, Steve Jobs, a week later Ritchie quietly succumb to his own ongoing illness in the silence of his New Jersey home. There was no outpouring of appreciation much beyond the community of experts who recognized the significance of the man.
Why should we know Dennis Ritchie? Simply put, even Steve Jobs would have to say he stood on the shoulders of this originator. It was Ritchie who developed the C programming language, upon which the UNIX system was built. Essentially, everything we love and enjoy on the internet was built upon the foundation that Ritchie developed. Web browsers, servers and the network hardware the internet runs depend on ‘C’. Even modern technological luxuries, like the Apple desktop OS, the iPhone and iPad depend on the underlying foundation of the ‘C’ language. Yes, even Windows was originally written upon the ‘C’ platform.
As some experts put it, it could not be overstated how much the networking and information technology industry owes to what Ritchie contributed. What praise Steve Jobs received for the outwardly incredible innovations the world loves in Apple, Ritchie ought to receive the same recognition for what happens within those very products.
I am not a programmer; I’m just a guy who benefits from the amazing things the really smart people in this world are able to build. But the programmers who work on the Microtek team were adament that the same recognition which was paid to Steve Jobs should also be given to a man their profession owes so much to.
I marvel at how brilliant the originators of the technology industry really are. To conceive and give birth to the ideas which a man like Dennis Ritchie did is beyond remarkable. So while the world continues to echo appreciation in the aftermath of Steve Job’s passing – may we also give place to a man who even Steve Job’s would have to tip his hat to.
Well done, Dennis. Thank you.