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 Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin
8
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: January 31, 1994
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kolomna, Russia

 2 Linus Torvalds

Linus Torvalds
12
Famous As: Software Engineer, Main developer of the Linux kernel
Birthdate: December 28, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Helsinki, Finland
Finnish software engineer Linus Torvalds developed the open-source software Linux kernel, the Git system, and the scuba dive planning software Subsurface. Named to Time 100 and inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame, he has also written an autobiography. He is married to Finnish karate champion Tove Torvalds.

 3 Guido van Rossum

Guido van Rossum
13
Famous As: Creator of the Python programming language
Birthdate: January 31, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Haarlem, 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.
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 4 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.

 5 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.

 6 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.

 7 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.

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 8 Shiva Ayyadurai

Shiva Ayyadurai
8
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: December 2, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

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.

 9 Paul Buchheit

Paul Buchheit
5
Famous As: Computer Engineer
Birthdate: November 7, 1977
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Webster, New York, United States

Paul Buchheit is an American entrepreneur and computer engineer. He is credited with creating Gmail and developing a prototype of Google AdSense. In 2007, he launched FriendFeed, which was later acquired by Facebook. In 2011, Paul Buchheit was honored with the Economist Innovation Award. Also a noted philanthropist, Paul Buchheit has made donations to several health organizations.

 10 Tim Sweeney

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

 11 Sid Meier

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

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.

 12 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.

 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 Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen
5
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: July 9, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States

Marc Andreessen is an American entrepreneur, software engineer, and investor. He is credited with co-founding the independent computer services company Netscape as well as the private venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Marc Andreessen is also credited with co-authoring one of the first web browsers, NCSA Mosaic. In 1994, he was inducted into the World Wide Web Hall of Fame.

 15 Fredrik Neij

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

One of the co-founders of the torrent site The Pirate Bay, Fredrik Neij created headlines after being charged with copyright infringement. He spent 10 months in a prison in Skänninge, Sweden. After his release, he decided to set up base in Laos and work in the IT sector.

 16 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

A pioneering computer scientist from the Netherlands, Edsger W. Dijkstra had initially studied theoretical physics, before focusing on computers. He developed the domain of structured programming and also won honors such as the Turing Award. He died at 72, after a long struggle with cancer.

 17 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.

 18 Evan Williams

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

 19 Tim Schafer

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

 20 Richard Garriott

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

 21 Ed Boon

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

 22 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

 23 Daniel Fredinburg

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

Daniel Fredinburg was an American climate activist, Google executive, explorer, inventor, and entrepreneur. He was credited with co-inventing over 12 software technologies that were recognized and patented by Google. Daniel Fredinburg also served as the head of privacy at Google X before his untimely and tragic death caused by head injuries during an avalanche, at the age of 33.

 24 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.

 25 Douglas Engelbart

Douglas Engelbart
3
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: January 25, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon, United States
Died: July 2, 2013

 26 Chris Metzen

Chris Metzen
7
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

 27 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

 28 Brendan Eich

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

 29 Edmund McMillen

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

 30 Jade Raymond

Jade Raymond
3
Famous As: Known for helping create the Assassin's Creed and Watch Dogs franchises
Birthdate: August 28, 1975
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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.

 31 Jonathan Blow

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

 32 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.

 33 Hans Reiser

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

 34 Tony Fadell

Tony Fadell
3
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: March 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States

 35 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.

 36 Ward Cunningham

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

 37 Ian Murdock

Ian Murdock
3
Famous As: Software engineer, known for being the founder of the Debian project and Progeny Linux Systems
Birthdate: April 28, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Konstanz, Germany
Died: December 28, 2015

 38 Bill Joy

Bill Joy
3
Famous As: Computer scientist, co-founded Sun Microsystems
Birthdate: November 8, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Farmington Hills, Michigan, United States

 39 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.

 40 Ze Frank

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

 41 Rob Pike

Rob Pike
3
Famous As: Software engineer
Birthdate: 1956 AD
Birthplace: Canada

Best known as the co-designer of the Go programming language, computer programmer Rob Pike has had an illustrious stint with the Bell Labs and now works with Google. He was also part of the Unix development team and has co-written books such as The Practice of Programming.

 42 Roberta Williams

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

 43 Hamza Bendelladj

Hamza Bendelladj
8
Famous As: Computer engineer
Birthdate: January 1, 1988
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tizi Ouzou, Algeria

 44 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

 45 Bram Cohen

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

 46 Jacob Appelbaum

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

 47 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

 48 Ben Swann

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

 49 Chris Sawyer

Chris Sawyer
4
Famous As: Video game designer, programmer best known for creating Transport Tycoon, which has been considered "one of the most important simulation games ever made"
Birthdate: October 27, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Scotland, United Kingdom

Best known as the developer of Transport Tycoon and the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise, Scottish programmer and video game developer Chris Sawyer is one of the gaming world’s greatest stars and had begun developing games in school. He included inputs from his own hobby of riding rollercoasters in the RollerCoaster Tycoon series.

 50 Patrice Désilets

Patrice Désilets
2
Famous As: Game designer
Birthdate: May 9, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

Canadian game designer Patrice Désilets is best known for his Assassin's Creed game series. He also contributed to the creative direction of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Hype: The Time Quest. After leaving Ubisoft, he formed his own studio, the Montreal-based Panache Digital Games.