Famous 20th Century Computer Engineers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Markus Persson

Markus Persson.
12
Famous As: Video Game Programmer & Designer
Birthdate: June 1, 1979
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Stockholm
Swedish game designer Markus Persson, also known by his pseudonym, Notch, created the sandbox video game Minecraft, which Microsoft later bought for $2.5 billion. He also founded the video game company Mojang. He was dragged into controversy for his “tweets” on feminism, race, and the LGBT community.

 2 Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin.
6
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: January 31, 1994
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kolomna, Russia
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 3 Shiva Ayyadurai

Shiva Ayyadurai.
6
Famous As: Inventor of Email
Birthdate: December 2, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tamil Nadu

Shiva Ayyadurai is an Indian-American engineer, scientist, and entrepreneur. He gained recognition after claiming to be the inventor of email, which is widely disputed even today. His claim is based on a software called EMAIL, which he wrote while studying at Livingston High School in the late-1970s. He is also known for his unfounded medical claims, including treatments for COVID-19.

 4 Kim Dotcom

Kim Dotcom.
17
Famous As: Entrepreneur, Programmer, Hacker
Birthdate: January 21, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kiel, West Germany

Kim Dotcom is a German-Finnish internet entrepreneur and political activist. He first gained fame in the 1990s as an internet entrepreneur. He is the founder of the now-defunct file hosting service Megaupload. He is a controversial person and was once convicted on charges of computer fraud. He loves music and has released one album and a few singles. 

 5 Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt.
8
Famous As: Former CEO of Google
Birthdate: April 27, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.

 6 Jan Koum

Jan Koum.
6
Famous As: CEO and co-founder of WhatsApp
Birthdate: February 24, 1976
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kiev, Ukraine

Jan Koum is a Ukrainian American computer programmer and entrepreneur. He is credited with co-founding the popular cross-platform messaging service, WhatsApp. One of the most popular billionaires around the world, Koum donated almost $556 million to the donor-advised community foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, in 2014.

 7 John Carmack

John Carmack
6
Famous As: Chief technology officer, Aerospace engineer, Programmer, Computer scientist
Birthdate: August 20, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kansas City

Computer-game developer John Carmack introduced pioneering innovations in the 3-D game arena. He specializes in first-person shooter games, such as Quake and Doom. The id Software founder had spent a year in a juvenile home and had later dropped out of university to become a freelance programmer.

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 8 Guido van Rossum

Guido van Rossum.
13
Famous As: Programmer
Birthdate: January 31, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Netherlands
Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum is known as the inventor of the Python programming language. He has also worked with Google and Dropbox earlier. In November 2020, he announced he announced his decision to join the Developer Division of Microsoft. He has won several honors, such as the NLUUG Award.

 9 Ma Huateng

Ma Huateng.
7
Famous As: CEO of Tencent
Birthdate: October 29, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chaoyang, Shantou

Chinese business magnate Ma Huateng, or Pony Ma, is best known as the founder, chairman, and CEO of the technology giant Tencent. His company owns the messaging app WeChat. One of CEOWORLD’s Most Powerful People in the World, he was a delegate of the 12th National People's Congress.

 10 Garrett Camp

Garrett Camp.
5
Famous As: Innovator & Entrepreneurs
Birthdate: October 4, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Calgary

Tech magnate Garrett Camp made headlines in 2020 when he quit his position of board director of Uber, a company co-founded by him, to focus on its product strategy. Camp has also formed companies such as StumbleUpon and the start-up incubator Expa Labs, and is part of The Giving Pledge.

 11 Daniel Fredinburg

Daniel Fredinburg.
3
Famous As: Google X Engineer
Birthdate: September 8, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mission Viejo, California, United States
Died: April 25, 2015

 12 Sid Meier

Sid Meier
5
Famous As: Video game producer, Engineer, Video game designer, Computer scientist
Birthdate: February 24, 1954
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Detroit

Game designer Sid Meier soared to fame with the strategy game series Civilization. Initially a cash-register designer, he later co-founded the gaming company MicroProse. He met his wife at a Lutheran Church, where they both still sing. Apart from the AIAS Hall of Fame Award, he has also penned a memoir.

 13 Peter Molyneux

Peter Molyneux
3
Famous As: Game programmer, Engineer, Programmer, Game designer
Birthdate: May 5, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Guildford

Peter Molyneux is an English programmer and video game designer. He is credited with creating several popular video games like Populous, Dungeon Keeper, Theme Park, Godus, and the Fable series. In 2004, he was inducted into the AIAS Hall of Fame. In 2011, Peter Molyneux was honored at the Game Developers Choice Awards with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

 14 Tim Sweeney

Tim Sweeney
7
Famous As: Computer programmer
Birthdate: 1970 AD
Birthplace: Potomac, Maryland, United States

 15 Edsger W. Dijkstra

Edsger W. Dijkstra
3
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: May 11, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died: August 6, 2002

 16 Shawn Fanning

Shawn Fanning
5
Famous As: Computer scientist, Programmer
Birthdate: November 22, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brockton

Computer programmer and entrepreneur Shawn Fanning revolutionized the world of information technology by developing a program that let users share MP3 copies of music from their personal computers with others on the internet. His invention led to the formation of Napster and got him featured on the cover of Time.

 17 George Hotz

George Hotz
6
Famous As: Blogger, Programmer, Computer scientist
Birthdate: October 2, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glen Rock, New Jersey

Known online as Geohot, George Francis Hotz is an American security hacker and software engineer, who at the age of seventeen became the first person to hack Apple’s iPhone. Later, he developed iOS jailbreaks and became the first person to crack a defense system in Sony PlayStation 3. Currently, he is working at comma.ai, a startup he founded in 2015.

 18 Tim Schafer

Tim Schafer
3
Famous As: Engineer, Programmer, Video game developer
Birthdate: July 26, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sonoma

 19 Evan Williams

Evan Williams.
3
Famous As: Co-founder of Blogger & Twitter
Birthdate: March 31, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Clarks

 20 Demis Hassabis

Demis Hassabis
7
Famous As: Engineer, Chess player
Birthdate: July 27, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London

Demis Hassabis is a British neuroscientist, artificial intelligence (AI) researcher, entrepreneur, and video game designer. He is credited with co-founding DeepMind for which he is currently serving as the chief executive officer. Over the years, he has won several prestigious awards, such as the Mullard Award. In 2017, he was named among the 100 most influential people in Time 100.

 21 David Baszucki

David Baszucki.
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: January 20, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius

David Baszucki is a Canadian-born American entrepreneur and inventor. He is credited with co-founding the Roblox Corporation, for which he also serves as the CEO. He is also credited with co-founding Knowledge Revolution, a company which was obtained by MSC Software in 1998. In 2017 and 2018, Baszucki was named one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs.

 22 Chris Metzen

Chris Metzen
5
Famous As: Artist, Comics artist, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter, Voice actor, Visual artist, Author, Computer scientist, Science fiction writer
Birthdate: November 22, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: United States of America

 23 Richard Garriott

Richard Garriott
3
Famous As: Astronaut, Engineer, Video game developer, Programmer
Birthdate: July 4, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cambridge

 24 Ed Boon

Ed Boon
3
Famous As: Programmer, Engineer, Screenwriter, Computer scientist
Birthdate: February 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago

 25 Tommy Rettig

Tommy Rettig.
3
Famous As: Child Actor
Birthdate: December 10, 1941
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Jackson Heights, New York, United States
Died: February 15, 1996

 26 Jonathan Ive

Jonathan Ive
3
Famous As: Industrial designer
Birthdate: February 27, 1967
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chingford

Jonathan Ive is a British-American product, industrial, and architectural designer. The former Chief Design Officer (CDO) of Apple Inc., Ive played a major role in the designs of several Apple products, such as the iPhone, MacBook, iMac, iPad, and iPod. He also played an important role in the designs of Apple's architectural projects, such as Apple Stores and Apple Park.

 27 Fredrik Neij

Fredrik Neij
16
Famous As: Engineer, Computer scientist
Birthdate: April 27, 1978
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jönköping

 28 Ray Tomlinson

Ray Tomlinson.
3
Famous As: Inventor of the First Email System
Birthdate: April 23, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Amsterdam, New York, U.S.
Died: March 5, 2016

 29 Brendan Eich

Brendan Eich
3
Famous As: computer scientist, programmer, chief technology officer
Birthdate: July 4, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pittsburgh

 30 Jonathan Blow

Jonathan Blow
3
Famous As: programmer, game designer
Birthdate: 1971 AD

 31 Edmund McMillen

Edmund McMillen
3
Famous As: Video game developer, Computer scientist
Birthdate: March 2, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Santa Cruz

 32 Hans Reiser

Hans Reiser
3
Famous As: Programmer, Entrepreneur, Computer scientist, Homicide
Birthdate: December 19, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: California

 33 Ian Murdock

Ian Murdock
3
Famous As: Computer scientist, Engineer, Programmer
Birthdate: April 28, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Konstanz
Died: December 28, 2015

 34 Andrew Gower

Andrew Gower
3
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: December 2, 1978
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nottingham

Best known as Cutler from the series Being Human, Andrew Gower also impressed his fans with his performance as “Bonnie Prince” Charles Edward Stuart in Outlander. A prominent stage actor, too, he has been part of many Oxford School of Drama productions. He has also experimented with a music career.

 35 Kai-Fu Lee

Kai-Fu Lee.
3
Famous As: Computer Scientist
Birthdate: December 3, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Taipei

Kai-Fu Lee is a computer scientist, writer, and businessman. One of the Chinese internet sector's most important figures, Lee is credited with creating a website called Wǒxuéwǎng, which aims at helping young people achieve in their respective careers. Also popular on social media, Lee is one of China's most-followed micro-bloggers; he has more than 50 million followers on Sina Weibo.

 36 Ward Cunningham

Ward Cunningham
3
Famous As: Programmer, Computer scientist
Birthdate: May 26, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: United States of America

 37 Eric S. Raymond

Eric S. Raymond
2
Famous As: Software developer, Engineer, Programmer, Writer, Lawyer, Computer scientist, Journalist
Birthdate: December 4, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Boston

 38 Jacob Appelbaum

Jacob Appelbaum
2
Famous As: computer scientist, blogger, Internet activist, journalist
Birthdate: April 1, 1983
Sun Sign: Aries

 39 Roberta Williams

Roberta Williams
2
Famous As: Writer, Computer scientist
Birthdate: February 16, 1953
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: La Verne

 40 Jade Raymond

Jade Raymond
3
Famous As: Television presenter, Engineer
Birthdate: August 28, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montreal

Canadian video-game creator and former Ubisoft executive Jade Raymond is best known for creating the Assassin’s Creed game franchise. Also known for her Watch Dogs games, she has announced the creation of a Montreal-based personal studio, Haven Studios. She has previously worked with Google’s Stadia Games streaming service.

 41 Joel Spolsky

Joel Spolsky
2
Famous As: computer scientist, programmer
Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Albuquerque

 42 Ben Swann

Ben Swann
2
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 17, 1978
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: El Paso

 43 Dave Arneson

Dave Arneson
2
Famous As: List of role-playing game designers
Birthdate: October 1, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hennepin County
Died: April 7, 2009

 44 Ze Frank

Ze Frank
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: March 31, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Guilderland

 45 Bram Cohen

Bram Cohen
2
Famous As: Computer scientist, Programmer, Blogger
Birthdate: October 12, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City

 46 Chris Sawyer

Chris Sawyer
4
Famous As: engineer, programmer
Birthdate: October 27, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio

 47 Peter Norton

Peter Norton
4
Famous As: Art collector, Programmer, Computer scientist
Birthdate: November 14, 1943
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Aberdeen

 48 Larry Wall

Larry Wall
2
Famous As: Programmer, Engineer, Writer, Computer scientist
Birthdate: September 27, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Los Angeles

 49 Bill Hewlett

Bill Hewlett
2
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: May 20, 1913
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Died: January 12, 2001

 50 Andy Gavin

Andy Gavin
2
Famous As: Computer scientist, Novelist
Birthdate: June 11, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States