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(IT World)   Nothing gets the nerds in a lather like a good debate over who the world's greatest living programmer is   (itworld.com ) divider line
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1511 clicks; posted to Geek » on 07 Jul 2014 at 10:00 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-07 09:13:01 AM  
Well, it depends...
 
2014-07-07 09:27:44 AM  
Me.  End of discussion.
 
2014-07-07 09:42:16 AM  
You know who one of the world's greatest programmers is?  The one that developed NoScript, that tells me there are 16 separate sites trying to run executable scripts on that page; that tells me I don't need to bother trying to make the slideshow run.
 
2014-07-07 09:45:29 AM  
I can't understand why I was left off that list.
 
2014-07-07 09:52:20 AM  
Don Knuth.
 
2014-07-07 10:01:54 AM  
 
2014-07-07 10:02:56 AM  

Sliding Carp: You know who one of the world's greatest programmers is?  The one that developed NoScript, that tells me there are 16 separate sites trying to run executable scripts on that page; that tells me I don't need to bother trying to make the slideshow run.


I thought you at first said NoSQL in which case you'd deserve a cockpunch. But yeah, that and adblock.
 
2014-07-07 10:03:06 AM  
Also, whoever the Farker is that created http://deslide.clusterfake.net/ deserves honorable mention, at least
 
2014-07-07 10:08:14 AM  
the greatest living programmer is probably some dude at Google or Oracle none of us has ever heard of.  and s/he likes is that way.
 
2014-07-07 10:11:17 AM  
Let me display my prowess here:

10 PRINT "Hello World"
20 GOTO 10

/what do I win?
 
2014-07-07 10:11:52 AM  

RexTalionis: Don Knuth.

End of farking list.
 
2014-07-07 10:16:03 AM  
Every programmer thinks they are the world's best programmer.  I can't stand them.
 
2014-07-07 10:20:06 AM  

The Googles Do Nothing: Every programmer thinks they are the world's best programmer.  I can't stand them.


That's because I am, duh.
 
2014-07-07 10:23:26 AM  
Frankly, it is probably some person who works for the NSA or KGB whom you've never heard of and will never hear of.
 
2014-07-07 10:28:35 AM  
Dunno.
 
2014-07-07 10:34:28 AM  

TheGreatGazoo: Frankly, it is probably some person who works for the NSA or KGB whom you've never heard of and will never hear of.


More likely it's somebody who works on video games, governments just don't pay well enough to get the best.
 
2014-07-07 10:38:45 AM  

Egoy3k: TheGreatGazoo: Frankly, it is probably some person who works for the NSA or KGB whom you've never heard of and will never hear of.

More likely it's somebody who works on video games, governments just don't pay well enough to get the best.


work for us, or go to jail for your crimes kind of beats out $ on compensation.
 
2014-07-07 10:40:19 AM  

Egoy3k: TheGreatGazoo: Frankly, it is probably some person who works for the NSA or KGB whom you've never heard of and will never hear of.

More likely it's somebody who works on video games, governments just don't pay well enough to get the best.


Based on the quality of most video games, neither do the game companies.
 
2014-07-07 10:40:36 AM  
Bill Gates, obviously.
 
2014-07-07 10:46:45 AM  

The Googles Do Nothing: Every programmer thinks they are the world's best programmer.  I can't stand them.


Not me.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I only give myself a 9.  This says more about how bad most people in the industry are than how good I am.  When you routinely work with incompetent hacks, it's easy to think you're one of the greats.  Until you get a chance to work with someone who really is one of the greats.
 
2014-07-07 10:47:00 AM  
I worked on a MUD once (That's a dungeon for MULTIPLE USERS), so yeah, I'm a pretty "elite hackser," as the kids say.
 
2014-07-07 10:48:00 AM  

SurfaceTension: Let me display my prowess here:

10 PRINT "Hello World"
20 GOTO 10

/what do I win?


Pfffft.  You forgot the semicolon at the end of line 10.
 
2014-07-07 10:48:06 AM  
Lather? You think those nerds use soap?
 
2014-07-07 10:48:13 AM  
Ken Thompson, Donald Knuth, or Richard Stallman. It's one of those 3, and you can make a good case for any of them.
 
2014-07-07 10:51:07 AM  

SmackLT: Also, whoever the Farker is that created http://deslide.clusterfake.net/ deserves honorable mention, at least


This is like saying the guy who delivers your pizza is the world's best driver. Devising and delivering something you like isn't the same as being the best at the craft.
 
2014-07-07 10:52:00 AM  
What are the criteria? I've know plenty of guys who could exploit every feature of a language and then dive into machine language for additional fun, but they couldn't manage a project to save their lives (or even communicate their status).

"Programming" is the easy part.
 
2014-07-07 10:54:21 AM  
imgs.xkcd.com

/GPL is pretty influential
 
2014-07-07 11:01:34 AM  

RexTalionis: Don Knuth.


hack
/P!=NP
//jk
 
2014-07-07 11:11:09 AM  
i prefer my programmers fictional, undead, and named after some dude who just guessed people's passwords (or whatever he did)

cloud-2.steampowered.com
 
2014-07-07 11:22:31 AM  
World's Greatest Programmer?  You never heard of him/her.  If you had, they might have been a candidate for greatest programmer at one time, but they're not anymore.
 
2014-07-07 11:28:16 AM  

Egoy3k: More likely it's somebody who works on video games, governments just don't pay well enough to get the best.


When you factor in that your six-figure salary at EA or Ubisoft comes with an expectation of 80-hour work weeks (100 during crunch time)...
 
2014-07-07 11:32:20 AM  
It's been a couple decades, at minimum, since computer programming was a solo endeavor.

Modern software products are built by teams, not individuals.  And even more so than in team sports, it doesn't matter if you have a superstar or two if the the organization isn't focused on group achievement.
 
2014-07-07 11:40:21 AM  

Parthenogenetic: SurfaceTension: Let me display my prowess here:

10 PRINT "Hello World"
20 GOTO 10

/what do I win?

Pfffft.  You forgot the semicolon at the end of line 10.


I told you I was displaying my prowess.

/which ain't much, honestly
//yet they still let me code for some reason
 
2014-07-07 11:46:51 AM  
Subby, you could have trolled two crowds by using "brogrammer" instead.
 
2014-07-07 11:47:05 AM  

dittybopper: Egoy3k: TheGreatGazoo: Frankly, it is probably some person who works for the NSA or KGB whom you've never heard of and will never hear of.

More likely it's somebody who works on video games, governments just don't pay well enough to get the best.

Based on the quality of most video games, neither do the game companies.


At a glance, it seems like they'd be some of the guys programming the AI boxes that do the micro-second trading for the boxes co-located in the stock exchange server rooms. But that might only reveal a sort-function, as anyone who makes a single error is asked to leave. At the end of the day all the programmers on that level are the ones that got ten heads up in a row.
 
2014-07-07 11:47:59 AM  

RexTalionis: Don Knuth.


According to Asburger Boy, Don Knuth doesn't know shat.
 
2014-07-07 11:54:45 AM  

RexTalionis: Don Knuth.


Knuth is more of a pure computer scientist than a practicing programmer, TeX and Metafont aside.
 
2014-07-07 11:55:22 AM  

poot_rootbeer: It's been a couple decades, at minimum, since computer programming was a solo endeavor.

Modern software products are built by teams, not individuals.  And even more so than in team sports, it doesn't matter if you have a superstar or two if the the organization isn't focused on group achievement.


img.fark.net
 
2014-07-07 11:55:24 AM  
ESR.  I'm pretty sure he's written the Jargon File to say so.
 
2014-07-07 12:02:29 PM  

NewWorldDan: The Googles Do Nothing: Every programmer thinks they are the world's best programmer.  I can't stand them.

Not me.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I only give myself a 9.  This says more about how bad most people in the industry are than how good I am.  When you routinely work with incompetent hacks, it's easy to think you're one of the greats.  Until you get a chance to work with someone who really is one of the greats.


Quoted for truth. I look back longingly on the days when I was humbled by my co workers.

As for the list: only one Indian programmer, last on the list, with the least impressive credentials but a glamorous head shot. 'nuff said.
 
2014-07-07 12:07:37 PM  

Ambitwistor: RexTalionis: Don Knuth.

Knuth is more of a pure computer scientist than a practicing programmer, TeX and Metafont aside.


"Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it."
 
2014-07-07 12:11:21 PM  

poot_rootbeer: Modern software products are built by teams, not individuals


Not really. They are taken over by teams after usually a single programmer writes the core functionality. That's when they start to go downhill IMO. Twitter, Facebook, even Google Search were written mostly by a single person. Sometimes the "team" just gets involved to soak up money and resources from the person or people actually doing the work. You can't pay a single programmer $4MM, you have to figure out how to spend the money, so you hire teams of people that do effectively nothing but push documents around and make programmers miserable. Bonus: delicious programmer misery!

Egoy3k: governments just don't pay well enough to get the best


Government pays way better than video game companies for far less work and almost no pressure.
 
2014-07-07 12:11:54 PM  
You want to get nerds in a lather?  Tell them Janeway was the best Trek captain.
 
2014-07-07 12:20:36 PM  
Best fictional programmer:

www.jplegacy.org
 
2014-07-07 12:36:31 PM  
Mel Kaye.
 
2014-07-07 12:44:38 PM  
The best programmer I have ever met could come up with an elegant solution to a difficult problem and code it up in no time with minimal residual bugs, such that when the code was done it looked stupidly simple but I still couldn't understand how it could possibly work.

The worlds best programmer is whomever could do exactly that for a problem such that the guy I knew would be as dumfounded at the solution as I was of his.
 
2014-07-07 01:01:11 PM  

poot_rootbeer: Modern software products are built by teams, not individuals.  And even more so than in team sports, it doesn't matter if you have a superstar or two if the the organization isn't focused on group achievement.


THIS

And you know the best people to have in teams? Mostly, competent developers with good skills. I've worked in teams with guys much smarter than me, and the project was a catastrophe because they had no consideration for others when building their code.
 
2014-07-07 01:10:44 PM  
It's like the world's greatest fighter, and the world's greatest lover, you've never heard of them, and if you met them, they wouldn't say much about it.
 
2014-07-07 01:19:13 PM  
Nobody from MacroShiat......
 
2014-07-07 01:21:31 PM  
hungrycheapskates.weebly.com
 
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