By Sarah June FischerFebruary 2, 2016

The Developers Who We Want to Be When We Grow Up

There is no limit to how high a career in software development can take you. There's a long list of programmers, engineers, self-taught coders, and scientists who have greatly influenced the tech industry and the technology that our students use today. As we thought about the amazing minds that inspire us at Code Fellows, four distinct traits surfaced. Here are the qualities that we admire in the innovators in the tech industry, and some of the engineers who have them.

Our Inspirations:

Have a Passion for Creating New Technology

In our advanced iOS Development course at Code Fellows, students learn Swift, Apple’s new programming language. While it took a team to develop, debug, document, and eventually launch Swift in June 2014, the project started in the nights and weekends of Chris Lattner, who had been with Apple since 2005. He worked on the project for 18 months before sharing the project with his bosses, who saw its potential and assigned more engineers to the project.

Contribute to the Open Source Community

The open source software movement in the programming community is strong, with widely-used languages like Python, PHP, Swift, and Ruby benefitting from the combined efforts of software developers around the world.

Laura Thomson, a self-proclaimed “open source evangelist,” is the Director of Engineering in Cloud Services Engineering and Operations at Mozilla. She co-authored a top-selling open source programming book, PHP and MySQL Web Development, and leads a team to develop web applications and cloud services.

Explore New Possibilities

Many programming languages, like Swift mentioned above, start as a passion project and end up taking the industry by storm. Node.js, a open source runtime system for creating server-side applications in JavaScript, was created much the same way. Ryan Dahl started on Node.js in 2009, and released the first version with help from the team at Joyent. The project lead to the development of npm, a package management system that makes it easy for JavaScript developers to use and share code.

Benefit Other Industries

During the race to put man on the moon, one women used her passion for programming to contribute to the future of space travel. Margaret Hamilton, Lead Engineer of Apollo Missions at NASA, worked on the software that led to successful moon landings. While the iPhones in our pockets are more powerful than the computers that put Neil Armstrong on the moon, the software at the time was revolutionary. Hamilton went on to to found several software companies, including Hamilton Technologies, and created the Universal Systems Language.

Who inspires you? Let us know!