Meet the Legends of Software

September 27, 2018

These are the innovators who created the building blocks for modern apps by creating languages like C++, Java and Ruby. These are the trailblazers who defined modern software architecture and established the fundamentals behind object-oriented programming. These are the pioneers who influenced our everyday work as software developers and are inspiring the legends of the future.

Watch the video and then scroll down to learn more.



Kristen Nygaard

Co-inventor of Object Oriented programming

“To program is to understand” – Kristen Nygaard

Nygaard created the Simula programming language in 1964, which established the essential components of future object-oriented programming languages like Java, C++, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, Dart, Swift, Scala and Smalltalk.

He received numerous awards for his pioneering work including the Turing Award in 2001. We were honored to have Nygaard speak at JAOO Aarhus 2000 and JAOO Aarhus 2001.



Bjarne Stroustrup

Creator of C++

Starting in 1983, Stroustrup worked on creating the C++ programming language, which solved (and still continues to solve) issues of scaling for software infrastructure, resource-constrained applications and performance-critical applications. He received the 2015 Dahl-Nygaard Prize and 2018 Computer Pioneer Award from the IEEE Computer Society and spoke at JAOO Aarhus 2002.

“Basically, nothing that can handle complexity runs as fast as C++. If you go to some embedded areas, if you go to image processing, if you go to some telecom applications, if you go to some financial applications, C++ rules. You don’t see it much if you’re into looking at apps and such, that’s not where you find it. It’s things like Google, Amazon, search engines, where you really need performance, that’s where it is.” – Bjarne Stroustrup in 2014 InfoWorld interview


Mary Shaw

Founding member of the field of software architecture

Shaw authored several seminal works on software architecture including “Software Architecture: Perspectives on an Emerging Discipline” (1996) – one of the most widely cited computer science works describing an architecture of a system as a collection of computational components together with a description of the interactions between these components — the connectors.

In 2012, she received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by US President Barack Obama.

You can also watch Mary Shaw present at GOTO Amsterdam 2015 on Progress Toward an Engineering Discipline of Software below.


James Gosling

Father of Java programming language

First released in 1995, Java allowed app developers to “write once, run anywhere”. There are now over 9,000,000 developers worldwide working with Java, according to Oracle.

At GOTO Aarhus 2010, Gosling presented on “Datamining the brains of mechanical engineers or 130MPH where??”

“Java is C++ without the guns, knives, and clubs.” – James Gosling


Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto

Creator of Ruby programming language

Matz first created the Ruby programming language in the mid-1990s with the goal to create an object-oriented, easy-to-use scripting language. Ruby is now commonly used for scalable websites and web apps since it allows developers to quickly build something from scratch with less lines of code.

Matz presented at both JAOO Aarhus 2001 and JAOO Aarhus 2002.

“I believe that the purpose of life is, at least in part, to be happy. Based on this belief, Ruby is designed to make programming not only easy but also fun. It allows you to concentrate on the creative side of programming, with less stress.” – Yukihoro Matsumoto


And meet more at upcoming GOTO Conferences

Join us at GOTO Berlin 2018 where we are welcoming legends who empower developers to continue innovating including:

Or at GOTO Copenhagen 2018 with:

  • Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web and Turing Award winner
  • Rod Johnson, creator of Spring Framework
  • Anita Sengupta, rocket scientist responsible for the supersonic parachute system integral to the landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars
  • Joe Armstrong, Principal Inventor of Erlang programming language


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