5 Most Influential Tech Stars Who Became Developers Because of Love and Passion (A Valentine’s Day Special)

It’s the month of hearts and the month of love. But, of course, love isn’t just about romantic love and affection. It’s also about doing what we love and loving what we do. We all love a lot of things; we love eating, we love sleeping, we love playing and doing anything that makes us happy. We love what we do because it makes us happy, and we are delighted because we are doing what we love. It’s an endless cycle.  

For example, you love eating your favorite food, and you eat them every day—you’re happy! Others are happy biking, and they often do it because they love it! 

And one of the things we can’t deny we love doing is using technology and the internet. We love connecting with friends and family from far away; we love spending our time watching movies from Netflix or YouTube or wandering around social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

And behind the things we love doing on the internet are people who are also doing what they love. Here are some of them: 

1) Tim Berners-Lee – World Wide Web

"I ended up getting more interested in electronic that trains." -Time Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is a British computer scientist. His parents were computer scientists and worked on one of the earliest computers. Growing up in London with parents already in technology, he was already exposed to the industry. 

His love for technology was boosted when he started inventing electronic gadgets to control trains because he realized he was more interested in electronics than trains. And then when he was in college, he made a computer out of an old television set! And after graduating, he became a software engineer at CERN.  

He noticed that scientists from all over the world who came to their company to use accelerators were having trouble sharing information. 

So how did the World Wide Web start?

  • In March 1989, he made a proposal called “Information Management: A Proposal.” It was the hypertext project to be known as World Wide Web—although it wasn’t immediately accepted. 
  • By the end of 1990, the first web page became open internet.
  • In 1991, people outside CERN were invited to join this new web community.
  • In 1994, Tim moved from CERN to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to found the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international community devoted to developing open web standards.
  • In 2003, the companies developing new web standards committed to a Royalty Free Policy for their work.
  •  In 2014, almost two in five people worldwide were using it.
  • Present, anyone using the internet is using the World Wide Web. And currently, there are 4.95 billion people worldwide using the internet. And that’s 62.5% of the world’s population!

His interest, love, and passion for electronics provided us with today’s excellent and valuable web. 

2) Bill Gates – Microsoft

"I was 13 years old when I fell in love with programming." -Bill Gates

Bill Gates took a pre-law major in college because of his parents, who hoped for him to have a career in law. He enrolled in Harvard University but dropped out to start Microsoft. According to his bio;

  • 1975 – he started Micro-Soft with Paul Allen. (Yes, with that little hyphen there)
  • 1976 – They changed the company name to Microsoft.
  • 1985 – Windows 1.0 was launched.
  • 1995 – Windows 95 was launched.
  • 2001 – The release of the original Xbox.
  • 2008 – He left his daily job at Microsoft.
  • 2014 – Stepped down as chairman and began serving as technology advisor.

Bill also helped a lot of students when he and his, now, ex-wife:

  • Made their first round of Gates Millennium Scholarship with a $1 billion effort to help 20,000 young people afford college.
  • Installed computers in 11,000 libraries.
  • Pledged $10 billion to help for research, development,  and delivery of vaccines for the world’s poorest countries.
  • Helped with $5.56 billion to eradicate polio. 

He achieved a lot. He is successful. And because of his success, he was able to help. His love for programming helped not just the technology industry but also many people in the world, no matter what industry they were in. 

3) Larry Page – Google

"I understood very early on that I wanted to invent things." -Larry Page

Google is the most used search engine today. And because of that, it’s safe to say that many of us just love using Google. But how did Google start?

Like Tim Berners-Lee, Larry Page was also already exposed to technology because of his parents, who are computer experts. He grew up in a house where computers, gadgets, and tech magazines were everywhere. His older brother also taught him to disassemble objects at home. Larry said, “I disassembled everything I could get my hands on because I wanted to see how it worked,” he said. “I understood very early on that I wanted to invent things.” (Source)

And this desire was never lost, and he achieved great things, like Google, which we love so much. 

  • 1995 – Larry entered into the doctorate program at Stanford, and there he met Sergey Brin—his co-founder.
  • 1998 – Google was founded.
  • 2000 – The company cited NEC Research Institute data in its June 26 press release, stating that “there are more than 1 billion web pages online today”, with Google “providing access to 560 million full-text indexed web pages and 500 million partially indexed URLs.”
  • 2004 – Page is the co-creator and namesake of PageRank, a search ranking algorithm for Google. He received the Marconi Prize in 2004 with co-writer Brin.
  • 2022 – According to World Wide Web Size Project, the estimated number of web pages indexed in Google is about 50 billion. (source)

It all started with his early realization of his passion, wants, and desire to invent things. And now we have a handy tool, Google, that we use almost every day in our lives. 

4) Guido van Rossum – Python

"I very quickly gave up on all the electronics stuff because the computer stuff was so much more interesting. In my second year in university, I already started realizing that programming was incredibly exciting and interesting." -Guido van Rossum

Guido van Rossum is best known as the Dutch programmer who created Python. And if you’re not familiar with Python, it’s one of the programming languages used to set grammatical rules to instruct computers to perform specific tasks. And currently, 

Python has been one of the most popular programming languages for years now because of its versatility, efficiency, reliability, and speed. Not to mention, it’s easy to learn and use. 

How did Python start?

  • 1989 – Guido designed Python to keep him occupied during the holidays.
  • 1991 – Guido made the code public and was developed by Python Software Foundation. 
  • 1994 – Python 1.0 was released.
  • 2000 – Python 2.0 was released.
  • 2008 – Python 3.0 was released.
  • Present– Programmers can choose either version 3.4.3 or 2.7.10 of Python. 

Right now, a lot of programmers love Python. Tech giant companies like Instagram, Google, Spotify, Netflix, Uber, Pinterest, and even Reddit use Python for their sites. 

5) Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook, now Meta

"If you actually do something you love, it's a lot easier and takes a lot more purpose." -Mark Zuckerberg

At age 12, Mark used Atari BASIC to create a messaging program he called “Zucknet,” which his family also used to communicate inside their home. He also had friends who were artists, and they would draw, and he would build a game out of it. 

Because of Mark’s love for computers and technology, his parents decided to hire a tutor, David Newman, who said it was hard to stay ahead with a prodigy. He later studied at Phillips Exeter Academy and showed his talent in fencing, where he became the team’s captain. He also excelled in literature and earned a diploma in classics.

Despite all of those, however, Mark’s fascination with computers didn’t fade, and he continued to work on developing new programs, Synapse, Course Match, and also agreed to help with Harvard Connection. However, after his sophomore year, he dropped out of school to focus on his new company, Facebook. 

  • 2004 – Facebook (then known as “thefacebook”) was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Moskovitz, Saverin, and Hughes. It started just in Harvard and spread to other campuses; Yale, Columbia, and Stanford.
  • 2005 – thefacebook expanded to more than 800 college campuses and became “Facebook.” By the end of the year, it has more than 6 million users.
  • 2006 – Facebook became available on mobile to make it easier to access. It also became accessible to everyone and anyone in the world.
  • 2008 – The like button was created.
  • 2010 – Facebook groups were launched, and there were over 500 million active users.
  • 2011 – Video call was launched.
  • 2012 – Facebook acquired Instagram and hit the 1 billion mark.
  • 2021 – Facebook Company changed its name to Meta.
  • Present – Roughly 2.89 billion monthly active users, making Meta the most popular social network worldwide.

Right now, almost everyone in the tech industry or who’s interested in it knows Mark Zuckerberg. He’s currently the CEO of Facebook, now called Meta, which is one of the most popular and used social media platforms a lot of people love. 

Conclusion

Love and passion are some of the biggest motivations for great people to build great things. Not just for themselves but also others. Indeed, these tech giants changed the world and our daily lives for the better. A lot of things can be done easier on the internet. And most of them are the things we love. For example, communicating with our loved ones far from us—which we can do right now to greet them with a happy Valentine’s day.

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