Marketing technologists mourn Dennis Ritchie

Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson

Marketers are paying tribute to Steve Jobs.

But marketing technologists should pay tribute to Dennis Ritchie (standing in above photo, next to Ken Thompson), who sadly passed away this past weekend.

As a great article in Wired points out, Jobs stood on the shoulders of Ritchie. See, Ritchie invented the C programming language, which he and Ken Thompson then used to build the UNIX operating system — which is the foundation of Apple’s OS, and so much more.

As one famous programmer, Rob Pike, said to Wired, “Pretty much everything on the web uses those two things: C and UNIX. The browsers are written in C. The UNIX kernel — that pretty much the entire Internet runs on — is written in C. Web servers are written in C, and if they’re not, they’re written in Java or C++, which are C derivatives, or Python or Ruby, which are implemented in C. And all of the network hardware running these programs I can almost guarantee were written in C.”

“It’s really hard to overstate how much of the modern information economy is built on the work Dennis did.”

On a personal note, C was my first love (as a programming language).

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