It is common to have models in life, to dream to be like them someday. Some people chose actors, others singers or rock stars... I'm selecting 5 technology-related individuals that I think are real gurus, people I really admire for their intelligence and the work they have produced.
Note: The list is in no particular order.
- John Carmack: One of the fathers of the 3D first person view shooters (FPS), and early adopter of the shareware model in the 90s. A guy who loves creating 3D game engines and probably a math expert, who developed Doom RPG "because of the challenge of developing in such a limited hardware as J2ME mobile phones".
- Peter Molyneux: Creator of some games that marked my AMIGA and first PC years of gaming, Molyneux can be credited both for having fantastic and different game ideas, and for hyping so much his latest creations with features that end up simplified (Black & White, Fable). Nobody is perfect and innovation sometimes leads to dead-ends, but Bullfrog games were and will always be among my favourites.
- Shigeru Miyamoto: As TIME magazine said, he's "the Walt Disney of electronic gaming". Creator of so many all-time classics for Nintendo consoles that the list has its own Wikipedia page. Mario or Zelda wouldn't exist without him.
- Charles Petzold: A 56 year old developer that started with Assembler in the 70s and now has written two books about 3D programming using WPF. Somebody with such a mind to still be developing and learning the latest technologies and programming language is simply amazing.
- Mark Russinovich: As I like to say, its "the man that knows more about Windows than Microsoft". Logically, Microsoft hired him on 2006, but his Windows Internals books (and his blog) are the deepest sources of Windows knowledge by far.
Apart from the things noted in the Wikipedia entry, Russinovich is the kind of guy that finds a problem with a driver, debugs it, finds the source and sends feedback to the owners of the driver X)
Apart from these five, I want to make two special mentions to "finalists" that didn't made it because lately the quality of their work is (in my oppinion) going down drastically:
- Hideo Kojima: Apart from defining the stealth action genre with its Metal Gear series, those games (beggining with Metal Gear Solid) had deeper than initially apparent themes, emotional scenes, fantastic orchestal music and fantastic narrative. The problem is that instead of letting rest the MGS series and creating a new franchise, too much related games have appeared, most of them with questionable innovation (and quality in some cases). But technically the MGS games have been showcases of all the three Playstations "horsepower" (excluding the PSP).
- Will Wright: The creator of the "Sim" label, he is another videogame designer genius, but loses points for me because lately seems to have become lazy: Since The Sims (the original one), only Spore promised something different, and ended being a group of editors badly joined, a fantastic idea (control a civilitation lifespan from the bacteria level to inter-galactic expansion) gone a too simplistic approach. And Spore expansions and spin-offs seem to follow the Sims path (try to get as much money as possible until exhaustion of the franchise).
So, this is the list. Probably you won't agree with it (I know I'm very influenced by videogames ;) , or maybe you have better gurus, so I encourage you to leave your comments!