Featured Software Development

Who is Brian Kernighan?

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Any programmer coming up in the early 80s (or any decade since!) knows this man as a legend. He co-created Unix, coined the term Unix, helped to develop AWK and AMPL, and co-authored one of the best-selling programming books of all time, C Programming Language. Nicknamed “K&R” for its authors, Kernighan and Ritchie, this book is considered a landmark in computer science and a must-have for programmers.

Many programmers, including some of our own, credit Kernighan with piquing their interest in the field. Ron Howard, VP and Senior Systems Architect here at Unidev, says, “he wrote the book that started many of us on our journey to becoming good programmers.”

At 80 years old, Brian Kernighan is still a Professor at Princeton and, in his spare time, works on new lines of code to add Unicode support for AWK, the text-parsing tool he helped create for Unix over 45 years ago.

Want to learn more about Brian and his pioneering contributions to programming? Check out UNIX: A History and a Memoir, written by Brian Kernighan, a “fascinating story of how Unix began and how it took over the world.” Part technical history and part memoir that recreates the groundbreaking (and sometimes silly) atmosphere at Bell Labs in the 1970s, complete with humorous illustrations.

“If stranded on an island with only one programming language, it would have to be C.” -Brian Kernighan

We can only hope all programmers reading this have pondered the same question and are ready to defend their decision!