By shilpa

October 4, 2021

Software Engineers
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Software Engineers

Gone are the days when software engineers were far from the spotlight, today these programming geniuses have garnered public recognition and admiration, thanks in part to some “geeks” who reached for the sky and attained glorious acclaim and positive publicity. Below are some of the world’s celebrity software engineers. If you are looking to carve a successful career in software engineering, these software gurus make the perfect role models:

5 Celebrity Software Engineers That are Worth Knowing

1. Steve McConnell

Steve McConnell needs no introduction in the programming realm. He has authored three notable books; Software Estimation, Rapid Development, and Code Complete. He is a coding expert, respected by all, and sundry in the coding field. Steve holds a degree in philosophy and computer science from Whitman College in Washington. Upon completing his studies, he delved into the software world, where he worked for Microsoft, Boeing, and the Russell Investment Group.

2. Mark Zuckerberg

Who doesn’t know Mark Zuckerberg? Maybe a hermit living under a rock! The Facebook founder and CEO is a household name in both the programming industry and outside of it. He is among the top 5 richest persons in the world and it’s all thanks to software engineering. He conceived the idea of Facebook and subsequently launched it from his Harvard dormitory in 2004. A child prodigy, Mark started coding in 6th grade. Realizing his talent, his father decided to nurture his skills by hiring a software developer, David Newman, to tutor him. Young as he was, he built a software program called “ZuckNet”, that facilitated communication between the computers in their home and his father’s dental office. The famous software engineer is truly a software genius whose name is written in gold.

3. Bill Gates

If you didn’t know any better, you would think Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are bonded by fate. They both dropped out of Harvard, are geniuses, and committed philanthropists. While in school, Bill would miss Maths class to seek the time and space that birthed his first program; a tic-tac-toe game that pitted players against the computer. He was so talented and addicted to software that he had to be banned from using the school computer after he and his allies (four other students) were caught exploiting bugs in the operating system to gain free computer time. He and one of those students, Paul Allen, founded Microsoft.

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4. Jack Dorsey

An internet entrepreneur and a prolific computer programmer, Jack Dorsey is the 45-year old CEO of Twitter. Jack’s love affair with software intensified at age 14 when he started developing his own open-source programs. Interestingly, some of these programs are used by some Taxi companies today. He moved on to study at New York University, but the software guru quit his studies just before graduation. But he didn’t leave NYU empty-handed, as he had already formed the idea for Twitter. Two weeks after dropping out, Jack and Biz Stone developed the prototype of Twitter and formally launched it in 2006.

5. Michael Widenius

The open-source MySQL database wouldn’t have come to life without Michael Widenius. He is the original author of the famous database that serves thousands of organizations and individuals. Interestingly, Michael is also a university dropout. He abandoned his studies at Helsinki University of Technology to work for a data housing company. He sure followed his passion! He proceeded to write the first version of the MySQL database in 1995 alongside David Axmark and launched it in 1996.


There you have it! These seasoned and celebrated Software Engineers deserve a space in your memory. They have built a remarkable portfolio for themselves and are worth emulating. Hopefully, they will be the motivation and inspiration you need to actualize your goals!

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