A Laymen's List of The 10 Most Forward Thinkers in the IT Industry

by HSG on Mar 26, 2014 in Articles from Software Fans

Recently, I asked my friend, Ray, to list those he believes are the top 10 most forward thinkers in the IT industry.  Below is the list he generated. 

Like most smart people, Ray gets his information from institutions such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, Ted Talks ...  Ray is not an IT expert; he is, however, a marketer: the type that has an opinion on everything and is all too willing to share it.  Unfortunately, many of his opinions are based upon the writings/editorials of those attempting to appeal to the reading level of an 8th grader.  I suppose it could be worse.  He could be referencing Yahoo News, where important stories get priority placement such as when the voluptuous Kate Upton holds a computer close to her breasts.

Before you read further, note that missing from this list and not credited are innovators: Bill Joy, Dennis Ritchie, Linus Torvalds, Alan Turing, Edward Howard Armstrong, Peter Andreas Grunberg and Albert Fent, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz/Hermann Grassmann ... You know the type:  the type of individual who burns the midnight oil and rarely, if ever, guffaws over their discoveries or achievements.

Anyways, here is Ray's List:

Listed below is a list of 11 of the most influential, progressive-minded and innovative individuals who have worked in the IT sector. Each of these people has capitalized on invaluable foresight, and was able to significantly impact the lives of people all over the world.

WikiLeaks: Julian Assange
Assange has become the face of whistleblowers everywhere since he founded WikiLeaks. He’s inspired and impacted many around the world by working with IT personnel to expose injustices committed by government agencies around the world, including the United States. He’s been featured on TedTalks, and spoke at SXSW during 2014.

NSA Leak: Edward Snowden
Snowden took Assange’s crusade a step further. He had the foresight and the gumption to expose the NSA surveillance program, and remained free to long enough to elaborate on findings. He was also recently featured on TedTalks and the SXSW conference.

Microsoft’s Maker: Bill Gates
Gates technical prowess and business acumen are primarily responsible for Microsoft becoming the largest software firm on the planet. Implementing Windows, licensing the MS-Dos OS and contracting to pre-install the system on PCs sold worldwide put Microsoft ahead of its competition for over two decades.

Apple’s Visionary: Steve Jobs
Aside from being the visionary behind one of the most disruptive and innovative companies worldwide, Jobs was also the founder of the Next Computer in the 1980s. Founding the Next Computer laid the ground-work for Berners-Lee to develop the world-wide-web system later on.

Google Boys: Page, Brin & Schmidt
Larry Page and Sergey Brin are the co-founders behind one of the most innovative companies on the planet. Eric Schmidt has been serving as Chairmen since 2007, and is largely responsible for Google evolving into the tech conglomerate it is today.

Predictive Statistics: Nate Silver
Due to his success in fantasy baseball, the 538 Blog on New York Times online and successfully predicting the outcome of the 2012 election, Silver has become the new face of Big Data, analytics and predictive statistics.

Twitter Co-Founder: Jack Dorsey
Dorsey’s one of the original founders of Twitter. He served as CEO during the first two rounds of capital funding. Since its conception, Twitter’s become one of the most successful startups ever. He also founded and serves as CEO of Square, a mobile payment app development firm. MIT has recognized him as one of the top 35 innovators under 35-years-old. The Wall Street Journal recognized him as Innovator of the Year in Technology during 2012.

IBM Software GM: Dr. Kristof Kloeckner
As General Manager of IBM’s software division, Kloeckner is responsible for anticipating the role of cognitive computing, Big Data, mobile and cloud applications throughout the next 10 years. He’s held a number of executive positions involving software development, strategy and architecture. He was instrumental in creating the Beta for the first public cloud developed by IBM.

HTML & WWW: Tim Berners-Lee
In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee was the first person to merge the concept of hypertext with the world-wide-web system. He invented the HTML programming language. Without his foresight and contributions, none of the aforementioned visionaries make this list.

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