An interesting factoid is the number of immensely influential personalities in the Information Technology Industry who were born in the year 1955. Coming of age in the 1970s these icons of IT were heavily influenced by the birth of microcomputers and how computers became something accessible to practically everyone. EACOMM pays tribute to these titans of Information Technology, without which the world would be a vastly different place than it is today.
Co-Founder/Chairman and CEO Apple Inc.
Steve Jobs, born on February 24, 1955, was an entrepreneur and visionary who co-founded Apple Inc., one of the most innovative technology companies in the world. He is widely recognized as one of the most influential figures of the technology industry.
Jobs was born in San Francisco, California, and was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs. He grew up in Mountain View, California, where his father worked as a machinist. Jobs showed an early interest in electronics, and he began tinkering with electronics as a teenager.
In 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, but dropped out after just one semester. He returned to California and took a job as a technician at Atari, a video game company. Jobs left Atari in 1974 to travel to India, where he explored Eastern spirituality and meditation.
Upon his return to the United States, Jobs co-founded Apple Inc. with Steve Wozniak in 1976. The company initially focused on building personal computers for hobbyists, but quickly expanded to offer more powerful machines for business users.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Jobs oversaw the development of several key products, including the Macintosh computer, which was widely regarded as the first successful personal computer with a graphical user interface. Apple went through several ups and downs over the years, but Jobs remained at the helm and continued to push the company forward.
In 1985, Jobs was fired from Apple after a power struggle with the company’s board of directors. He went on to found NeXT Computer, which developed high-end computers for the education and business markets. NeXT struggled financially, but the company’s software and operating system became the basis for Apple’s Mac OS X.
In 1997, Apple acquired NeXT, and Jobs returned to the company as CEO. Under his leadership, Apple developed several groundbreaking products, including the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Jobs was known for his design sensibilities and his ability to anticipate what consumers wanted before they even knew it themselves.
In addition to his work at Apple, Jobs was active in philanthropy. He donated millions of dollars to various causes, including cancer research and education. Jobs himself was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003, and he passed away on October 5, 2011, at the age of 56.
Eric Schmidt was born in Washington, D.C. in April 27,1955. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1976, followed by a master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Schmidt began his career in the technology industry in 1983, when he joined the research staff at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). In 1986, he joined Sun Microsystems, where he served as a technical leader and eventually became the company’s Chief Technology Officer.
In 1997, Schmidt joined Novell, a software company, as CEO. He led the company through a difficult period and oversaw a successful restructuring, which helped to restore the company’s profitability. However, he left Novell in 2001 to join Google as CEO.
Under Schmidt’s leadership, Google grew from a small startup into one of the world’s most successful technology companies. He oversaw the development of several key products, including Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Earth. He also helped to negotiate key partnerships, such as the company’s agreement to provide search technology for AOL.
In addition to his work at Google, Schmidt has been active in philanthropy and public service. He served as a member of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology from 2009 to 2017. He has also been a vocal advocate for renewable energy and sustainable development.
In 2011, Schmidt stepped down as CEO of Google, but he remained with the company as Executive Chairman. In this role, he focused on building relationships with governments and regulators around the world. He also oversaw the development of Google’s self-driving car project, which later became Waymo.
In 2015, Schmidt announced that he would be stepping down as Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. He transitioned to a role as Technical Advisor, where he continued to work closely with Google’s leadership team.
Schmidt has received numerous awards and accolades for his work in the technology industry. In 2006, he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, and in 2016, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.
“Father” of the Java Programming Language
James Gosling is a computer scientist and software developer known for creating the Java programming language. He was born on May 19, 1955, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Gosling attended the University of Calgary, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science in 1977. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1983.
After completing his doctoral studies, Gosling joined Sun Microsystems, where he worked as a software developer. At Sun, he helped to develop several key products, including the NeWS windowing system and the Gosling Emacs text editor. However, it was his work on the Java programming language that would make him a household name in the technology industry.
Gosling began working on Java in the early 1990s, with the goal of creating a programming language that could be used to develop software that would run on any device, regardless of its hardware or operating system. He envisioned a world in which developers could write a program once and then run it on any device, without having to worry about compatibility issues.
Java was released in 1995, and it quickly became one of the most popular programming languages in the world. Its popularity was due in part to its simplicity and ease of use, as well as its ability to run on a wide range of devices, from desktop computers to mobile phones.
Gosling continued to work on Java throughout his career, and he became a key figure in the technology industry. He served as Chief Technology Officer of Sun Microsystems’ Developer Products Group, where he oversaw the development of several key products, including the Java platform, the NetBeans integrated development environment, and the OpenOffice.org office suite.
After Sun Microsystems was acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2010, Gosling left the company to pursue other interests. He worked briefly for Google, but he ultimately decided to leave the company to start his own venture, called Liquid Robotics.
Liquid Robotics is a company that develops autonomous ocean-going robots that are used for scientific research, environmental monitoring, and other applications. Gosling served as Chief Software Architect for the company, and he played a key role in developing the software that controls the robots.
In addition to his work in the technology industry, Gosling has also been active in the scientific community. He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has also received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to the technology industry, including the IEEE John von Neumann Medal in 2002 and the ACM Software System Award in 2019.
Throughout his career, Gosling has been a passionate advocate for open standards and open-source software. He believes that technology should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their background or resources. His work on Java and other projects has had a profound impact on the technology industry, and his contributions will continue to shape the industry for many years to come.
Inventor of the World Wide Web
Tim Berners-Lee is a computer scientist and inventor who is recognized as the inventor of the World Wide Web. He was born on June 8, 1955, in London, England.
Berners-Lee was interested in electronics and computers from an early age. He studied physics at the University of Oxford, where he earned a degree in 1976. After completing his degree, he worked as an engineer at several different companies, including Plessey Telecommunications and D. G. Nash Ltd.
In 1980, Berners-Lee returned to the University of Oxford to work on his graduate degree. While there, he began to work on a project that would eventually lead to the development of the World Wide Web.
The idea for the World Wide Web came to Berners-Lee while he was working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Switzerland. He realized that scientists at CERN, who were working on a wide variety of research projects, needed a way to share information and collaborate more effectively.
In 1989, Berners-Lee proposed a system that would allow scientists to share documents and information over the internet. He called his system the World Wide Web, and he developed a set of protocols that would allow users to navigate and access information on the web.
The first website went live in 1991, and the World Wide Web quickly became one of the most important technological innovations of the 20th century. It revolutionized the way that people access and share information, and it transformed the way that businesses and individuals communicate and interact with each other.
Berners-Lee continued to work on the development of the World Wide Web, and he played a key role in the creation of several important standards, including HTML, HTTP, and URIs. He also founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which is an international community that works to develop standards for the web.
In addition to his work on the World Wide Web, Berners-Lee has been involved in a wide variety of other technology projects. He has worked on the development of several different programming languages, including HTML and CSS, and he has been a vocal advocate for open standards and free access to information.
Berners-Lee has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to the technology industry, including the Turing Award in 2016. He has also been named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Important People of the 20th Century” and has been awarded the Order of Merit, which is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a British citizen.
Despite his many achievements, Berners-Lee remains focused on the future of the web. He has been a vocal advocate for the importance of maintaining an open and decentralized internet, and he has expressed concern about the growing power of large technology companies and the potential for the web to be used for nefarious purposes.
Bill Gates, born on October 28, 1955, is one of the most renowned and influential figures in the history of the technology industry. He co-founded Microsoft, one of the world’s largest software companies, and went on to become one of the wealthiest individuals in the world.
Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, and showed an early interest in computers. He was introduced to programming at the age of 13 when he was enrolled in the Lakeside School in Seattle, which had access to a mainframe computer. Gates quickly became obsessed with programming and spent most of his free time writing code.
In 1973, Gates enrolled at Harvard University, but he dropped out two years later to pursue his passion for computer programming. In 1975, he co-founded Microsoft with Paul Allen, and the company quickly became one of the leading software companies in the world. Microsoft developed the Windows operating system, which was installed on millions of computers around the world.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Gates oversaw the development of several key products, including Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer. Microsoft became the dominant player in the computer industry, and Gates became one of the wealthiest individuals in the world. In 2000, Gates stepped down as CEO of Microsoft but continued to serve as Chairman of the Board.
In addition to his work at Microsoft, Gates has been active in philanthropy. In 2000, he and his wife, Melinda, founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is dedicated to improving global healthcare and reducing poverty. The foundation has donated billions of dollars to support research and development in healthcare and education.
In recent years, Gates has focused on tackling global issues such as climate change and poverty. He has called for greater investment in renewable energy and has pledged to donate the majority of his wealth to charity.
Co-founder Sun Microsystems
Bill Joy is an American computer scientist and entrepreneur who is known for his work at Sun Microsystems and his contributions to the development of computer networking technology in the 1980s and 1990s. He was born on November 8, 1954, in the city of Farmington, Michigan.
Joy studied computer science and electrical engineering at the University of Michigan, where he earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in the field. After completing his studies, he began his career in the technology industry, working at several different companies before joining Sun Microsystems in 1982.
At Sun Microsystems, Joy played a key role in the development of a variety of different software and hardware products. He was one of the key architects of the company’s Unix-based operating system, and he was instrumental in the development of the company’s network file system (NFS) and other networking technologies.
In addition to his work at Sun Microsystems, Joy was also involved in a variety of other technology projects and initiatives. He was a co-founder of the open-source software community, and he was an early advocate for the use of encryption and other security technologies in the development of computer networking.
Joy also founded several different technology startups over the years, including the networking software company Arista Networks and the green energy technology company Joule Unlimited. He has been a vocal advocate for renewable energy and environmental sustainability, and he has been involved in a variety of philanthropic and educational initiatives.
Co-Founder and CEO of SUN Microsystems
Scott McNealy is an American businessman and entrepreneur who is a co-founder and CEO of Sun Microsystems, a company that played a significant role in the development of computer networking technology in the 1990s and early 2000s. He was born on November 13, 1954, in Columbus, Indiana.
McNealy attended Harvard University, where he earned a degree in economics in 1976. After completing his degree, he began his career in the technology industry, working at several different companies before co-founding Sun Microsystems in 1982.
Under McNealy’s leadership, Sun Microsystems became one of the most successful technology companies of the 1990s and early 2000s. The company was a major player in the development of computer networking technology, and it was known for its high-performance workstations and servers.
McNealy was also known for his outspoken personality and his willingness to speak his mind on a variety of topics. He was a vocal critic of Microsoft and the company’s dominance in the technology industry, and he was a strong advocate for open standards and free competition in the market.
In addition to his work at Sun Microsystems, McNealy has been involved in a variety of other technology projects and initiatives. He has served on the board of directors of several different companies, including Wayin, Curriki, and Protect America. He has also been a frequent speaker and commentator on a wide range of technology and business topics.
McNealy retired from Sun Microsystems in 2010, following the company’s acquisition by Oracle Corporation. Since then, he has been involved in a variety of philanthropic and educational initiatives. He has been a vocal advocate for education reform, and he has served on the board of several different educational organizations, including the California State Board of Education.
McNealy has been recognized for his contributions to the technology industry and to society as a whole. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1997, and he has been named one of the “Top 25 Executives of the Year” by BusinessWeek magazine.