Influencers in the IT CommunityBy John Jainschigg | Posted 2008-10-30 Print
From entrepreneurs and academics to CEOs and it Gurus, These influencers come from diverse backgrounds, but have one thing in common: they strive to use technology to improve the world.
Influencers in the IT Community
As an assistant professor at Stanford University, Vinton Cerf and colleague Robert Kahn co-designed the TCP/IP protocols and the basic architecture of the Internet. Moving to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in 1976, Cerf played a key role in shaping the Internet. He remains involved, serving as chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. In 1982, Cerf became a vice president at MCI, and, in 2005, he became Google’s chief Internet evangelist and vice president. Cerf is called the “Father of the Internet.”
“As more of the information critical to enterprise operations becomes accessible to search, analysis and data mining tools, enterprise operators may find that their ability to understand the dynamics of their business operations and to anticipate trends will improve significantly,” Cerf says. “These same tools will help customers discover products and services they need and, in many cases, can access through the global Internet.”
World Wide Web Consortium
As a fellow at CERN (the European nuclear research agency), Tim Berners-Lee wrote the first World Wide Web server, httpd, and the first client, WorldWideWeb, a hypertext browser/editor that ran in the NeXTStep environment. The program was made available on the Internet in 1991.
In 1994, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Since then, he has served as the director of the consortium, which coordinates worldwide Web development.
Analyst and Writer
As a thought leader on social technologies, Charlene Li was, until recently, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research. There, she focused on how new technologies influence the ways in which companies do business. Li now blogs at the AltimeterGroup.com. In 2008, she authored Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, published by Harvard Business Press.
A former technology journalist, publisher, event producer and entrepreneur, Michael Moritz joined Sequoia Capital in 1986. He funded some of the Internet’s best-known companies, including PayPal, Google and YouTube. The 2004 Google IPO made him one of Wale’s richest men.
One Laptop Per Child
In 1985, Nicholas Negroponte collaborated with colleague Jerome Weisner to form the MIT Media Lab, which he built into an international research powerhouse In the ensuing 15 years. Negroponte stepped down as Media Lab director in 2000 and later founded the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program, aimed at engineering and distributing a sub-$100, battery/handcrank-generator-powered, Wi-Fi-equipped personal computer for children, teachers and others who are on the ”have-not” side of the digital divide.
John Pescatore is a vice president and research fellow in Gartner Research. He is Gartner’s lead analyst focusing on computer, network and Internet security.
Blake Aaron Ross is a software developer best known for having started, with Dave Hyatt, the Mozilla Firefox project.
As a computer-science student at the University of Helsinki, Linus Torvalds created what he called “a hobby operating system” aimed at bringing a fuller subset of Unix-like multitasking support to 386-based PCs. In 1991, he uploaded the first version of Linux source code. Five years later, Torvalds went to work for Transmeta, a semiconductor startup, while still overseeing Linux kernel development.
In 2003, Torvalds rededicated himself to evolving the Linux kernel under the auspices of the Open Systems Development Foundation, which later merged with the Free Standards Group to become the Linux Foundation.
Charles Weaver is co-founder and president of the MSPAlliance, a professional association of nearly 7,000 managed service providers worldwide. In addition to running the operational activities of the alliance, Weaver writes and speaks on the managed services industry.
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