Last Sunday, I watched the movie The Social Network. Yes, it is based on Facebook, more precisely, how its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, started with a site called facemash and how ultimately he got The Facebook live, and everything in between. The feeling that I carried after watching this movie was, how a second-year graduate of Harvard university managed to come up with a website that is currently one of the hottest trend in the world. Also this 27-year old (yes, barely 3 years older than me), is world’s youngest billionaire – not considering heirs of people like Bill Gates or Mukesh Ambani of course. And, the interesting part, he was a PHP programmer.
I was recently looking for an API to flickr in PHP. I stumbled upon a site whose author had written one such API. His first name happened to be Rasmus. So I wondered whether he is the great Rasmus Lerdorf, founder of PHP, and ultimately the founder of a language which is responsible for bread and butter of programmers like me around the world (what a noble deed :)). For the very reason, I got interested in knowing more about Rasmus Lerdorf, so I googled him and read about him.
After these two episodes in my life, one fine day, suddenly a thought crossed my mind that I belong to a field where the torch-bearers or founders of technologies live in the same age as programmers like me do. We can see that they too work for some company like us. They too are found on Facebook and use Twitter like us. In short, they breathe the same air as we do.
You must be thinking – dude, come to the point. So the thing is, I feel that we can get inspiration from these founders of young IT technologies, websites, programming languages etc. Take it this way – we work on technologies that are founded by people who were, at some time, programmers like us, and they still may be, working on some framework like jQuery or a language like PHP or a product like Google or may be a website like Facebook – that is going to influence the world in a significant way. So why can’t we be the next Rasmus Lerdorf or Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
These names may be uncommon for non-IT people, but certainly some of the most respected ones for IT people. So, as IT engineers, we must think innovatively and have self-respect that the product we are working on will be used in any corner of the world and influence people’s life in some way. We are here to make a change, make life easy and interesting, help people around the world connect to their loved ones, and anything that is possible through the use of internet. It is this feeling of respect that should drive us to work in a better way and think of innovative solutions.
I have tried to collect some information and put everything together in a nice, clean format, so that you can go through it and may get some inspiration, or some new knowledge at least. So here it is:
I am particularly impressed with the fact that people like these not just know how to create something but also know how to make it popular, even if the idea or concept behind that thing has already been materialized and been used in the market.
When Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, social networking was not a new concept in internet – MySpace, Friendster and Orkut were already there.
When Larry Page and Sergey Brin created Google, people were already using search engines like Yahoo Search and MSN search.
Web programming platforms like Perl and Python existed long before the inception of PHP by Rasmus Lerdorf.
Please give a thought to it.