Where Are the Programmers Who Defined the Technology Industry Now?

In 1986, Susan Lammers interviewed 19 prominent programmers for her book Programmers at Work. This article revisits their early thoughts on the computing industry and catches up with five of them. They include:

  • Dan Bricklin, co-creator of the VisiCalc spreadsheet, runs a small company called Software Garden and also does some consulting and speaking.
  • Jonathan Sachs, who helped create Lotus 1-2-3, is “mostly retired” but does some work for a company that makes software for photographers and has been “playing around” with Android.
  • Robert Carr co-founded Forefront and developed Framework, one of the first integrated office productivity suites. Today, he’s the CEO of KeepAndShare and has returned to programming after a 20-year hiatus.
  • Bill Gates — well, we all know what happened to him.
  • Charles Simonyi, who among other achievements created the first WYSIWYG text editor, worked at Microsoft until 2002, becoming Director of Application Development, Chief Architect, and Distinguished Engineer. He’s now the founder and CTO of Intentional Software Corporation.

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