Top 10 Programmers in the World of All Time

Here is the list of top 10 programmers in the world of all time.

1. Dennis Ritchie

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie was an American computer scientist who “helped shape the digital era”. He created the C programming language and with long-time colleague Ken Thompson, the Unix operating system. Ritchie and Thompson received the Turing Award from the ACM in 1983, the Hamming Medal from the IEEE in 1990 and the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton in 1999. Ritchie was the head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department when he retired in 2007.
Dennis Ritchie

2. Bjarne Stroustrup

Bjarne Stroustrup is a Danish computer scientist, most notable for the creation and development of the widely used C++ programming language. He is a Distinguished Research Professor and holds the College of Engineering Chair in Computer Science at Texas A&M University, a visiting professor at Columbia University, and works at Morgan Stanley.
Bjarne Stroustrup

3. James Gosling

James Arthur Gosling is a Canadian computer scientist, best known as the father of the Java programming language. James has also made major contributions to several other software systems, such as NeWS and Gosling Emacs. Due to his extra-ordinary achievements Gosling was elected to Foreign Associate member of the United States National Academy of Engineering.
James Gosling

4. Linus Torvalds

Linus Benedict Torvalds is a Finnish American software engineer, who was the principal force behind the development of the Linux kernel. He later became the chief architect of the Linux kernel, and now acts as the project’s coordinator. He also created the revision control system Git as well as the diving log software Subsurface. He was honored, along with Shinya Yamanaka, with the 2012 Millennium Technology Prize by the Technology Academy Finland in recognition of his creation of a new open source operating system for computers leading to the widely used Linux kernel.
Linus Torvalds

5. Anders Hejlsberg

Anders Hejlsberg is a prominent Danish software engineer who co-designed several popular and commercially successful programming languages and development tools. He is creator of popular programming language C#. He was the original author of Turbo Pascal and the chief architect of Delphi. He currently works for Microsoft as the lead architect of C# and core developer on TypeScript.
Anders Hejlsberg

6. Tim Berners-Lee

Sir Timothy John “Tim” Berners-Lee also known as “TimBL,” is a British computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web. He made a proposal for an information management system in March 1989 and he implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the Internet. Berners-Lee is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees the Web’s continued development.
Tim Berners-Lee

7. Brian Kernighan

Brian Wilson Kernighan is a Canadian computer scientist who worked at Bell Labs alongside Unix creators Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie and contributed to the development of Unix. He is also coauthor of the AWK and AMPL programming languages. Kernighan’s name became widely known through co-authorship of the first book on the C programming language with Dennis Ritchie.
Brian Kernighan

8. Ken Thompson

Kenneth Thompson commonly referred to as ken in hacker circles is an American pioneer of computer science. Having worked at Bell Labs for most of his career, Thompson designed and implemented the original Unix operating system. He also invented the B programming language, the direct predecessor to the C programming language, and was one of the creators and early developers of the Plan 9 operating systems. Since 2006, Thompson works at Google, where he co-invented the Go programming language.
Ken Thompson

9. Guido van Rossum

Guido van Rossum is a Dutch computer programmer who is best known as the author of the Python programming language. In the Python community, Van Rossum is known as a “Benevolent Dictator For Life” (BDFL), meaning that he continues to oversee the Python development process, making decisions where necessary. He was employed by Google from 2005 until December 7th 2012, where he spent half his time developing the Python language. In January 2013, Van Rossum started working for Dropbox.
Guido van Rossum

10. Donald Knuth

Donald Ervin Knuth is an American computer scientist, mathematician, and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University. He is the author of the multi-volume work The Art of Computer Programming. Knuth has been called the “father” of the analysis of algorithms. He contributed to the development of the rigorous analysis of the computational complexity of algorithms and systematized formal mathematical techniques for it. In the process he also popularized the asymptotic notation. Knuth is the creator of the TeX computer typesetting system, the related METAFONT font definition language and rendering system and the Computer Modern family of typefaces.
Donald Kuth

46 thoughts on “Top 10 Programmers in the World of All Time”

    1. Turing was not a programmer, he was more of an analyst. Lovelace, maybe but her were was not that original or ground breaking as these guys.

    1. What about him, he doesn't belong on this list. Mark is a great businessman, not a great computer programmer. He built a website in PHP, that's not an accomplishment; he grew that website into one of the biggest in the world and made himself a billionaire, that's not a programming accomplishment, it's a business one.

    2. Hi Ramon, I guess Ada Lovelace name need to be in list as she was first progrmmer in the world. Also the Steve Jobs as he developed first OS for Apply or a his first computer of this series in 1980s

    3. You are so naive…. Zuckerberg was just an application programmer who can build cool website using some language and framework. Any proffessional programmer in the world is as good as Zuckerberg.

      Grow up, there’s lot to the world more than what’s shown in the movies.

    4. Zuckerberg stole an idea from others and made a product that is the exact same thing as other products in the market back then (myspace and hi5) and he hacked school accounts to send people invitations to a software that compare women breasts and butts.

      Best programmers in this list are people who invented programming languages and operating systems, not people who created a website-like tool based on someone else’s idea and based on existing products 🙂

  1. Vuyani Shabangu

    Any african programmer people
    you people please help out my son just started programming
    want to encourage him

  2. Jobs is similar to mark even stolen the work from his mates n made it as a big business but he also worked in that part

      1. This is about TOP 10 PROGRAMMERS! Not thieves, not monkey business guys, not treacherous jerks, NOT Shitheads!

        1. My father in 1958 was (gov. Secrets)interpreting, Quality Control, if you would call it that, using the same technology back then, and we’ve had programmers forever. You are all talking about popular people. Not about brilliant genius true programmers! I never knew about what he did till I got a letter from the White House, President Bush, Sr. After he passed. I’ve seen his resume, and in my opinion, he is number one and then my son. Brilliant!

  3. What about Gates

    U need to consider he was programming Altairs. Thos things have barely any memory. To put it in perspective:

    Your average smartphone has 16 GB storage.

    That is (roughtly) 16,000 MB.

    Which is roughly 16′000,000 KB

    [NOTE: Corrections in the numbers made by a kind of observation of a member. See comments. Thanks!]

    To put it in more pesrpective, your average low-res picture could be 200KB.

    Bill had 4 KB available OVER ALL, and he built a complete programming language for it. BASIC was fully functional, easy to use, and opened the world of programming for the non-technical (or less-technical) people.

    My point being is, your flashlight has more power than an Altair. And Bill built BASIC for it. He transported it in paper tape. And it worked.

    Whomever denies Bill’s coder capabili

  4. There is a common point in all of them 🙂 They are all old and started in earlier ages. They started with languages and systems that needed a deeper understanding of how hardware and software actually works and what is the logic and reasoning.
    When I started to learn in late 1990s … as a school student, We learned a lot more differently to today. I studied software development in a Technical school in Iran (yes my high school diploma is in Software Development which is possible in Iran), When I decided to migrate I needed a bachelors degree, I never studied for any programming courses during my bachelors and I worked in the industry while studied all because I had my background in those days and in those great schools.

    I believe if anyone today wants to become a programmer, should go and learn what we learned those days, assmebly, c, c++, hardware and cercuit design, algebra, network, physics of electrons (not sure what you call it in English) etc. Not because they are going to be useful today (they might not be much useful) but they give a very deep understanding and a fairly strong foundation of programming and logic to the learner.

  5. What about me? 3 unpublished games as a child coded in QBasic, Visual Basic and Turbo Pascal (8-14 y/o) later on hired as a professional to write some Python and JavaScript applications. Renowned for building moderately extensive helper-tool applications using Excel&VBA. Google skills way out of this world.

  6. My Name Is Mary Harris. In 2025 Half Pass This Decade I Will Be On This List. “World’s Best Computer Programmers”.

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