From my own viewpoint, and in my own opinion** here is the list of what I believe to be the 10 most influential people or groups of people in the Information Technology sector in 2006. Please feel free to add/subtract/multiply/divide to/from this list in the comments section (or better yet, blog your list and provide a link in the comments section***).
#10 : Mike Champion, Microsoft Corporation
I believe that during his gear up time of late 2004 and throughout 2005, 2006 was the year that Mike Champion’s efforts at MSFT began to bear their fruits to “LandO’XML”. Stay tuned for 2007 (and beyond!) ;)
#9 :: Jim Hugunin :: Microsoft Corporation
Jim’s efforts have spearheaded the movement towards a more agile and dynamic .NET platform.
#8 : The Classpath Project :: Headed by Mark Wielaard & IKVM.NET :: Developed by Jeroen Frijters [NOTE: There are a TON of contributors to the Classpath project, each of which deserves proper credit for their hard work. Please see my post regarding this very topic to gain a greater understanding towards just how much effort and how many people have contributed to this project. To each of you who have dedicated blood, sweat, tears, time, and smiles into bringing the Classpath project into a reality: Thank you!
Would it even have been possible for Sun to GPL+Classpath exception the JavaSE Libraries if Classpath, and therefore the Classpath exception, didn’t exist in the first place?
I say nay! ;)
#7 : Tim O’Reilly :: O’Reilly Media
Tim O’Reilly is one of the few people in this industry who truly understands what this industry is all about, practicing what he has continued to preach since day one. His vision of Web 2.0 is nothing new, and instead the same ideals and the same business justifications for doing what he does and how he does it packaged in a slightly different format to help people better understand what the sharing economy is all about.
Put another way, to “get”, you must first “give.”
One of the true visionaries of the industry, Miguel has taken *MAJOR* risks, alienated some in the Land of GNU/Linux who believed his intentions were mis-lead, and in doing so I believe has proven to them all that for GNU/Linux, and in particular, Free-as-in-Speech software to truly succeed, you have to provide reasons for the ones with the money/power to care.
I have my doubts that the second would have even been possible without the first. Therefore the order in which I placed the pair. ;)
#4 : Tim Bray :: Sun Microsystems
Update: It seems that my choice of phrasing sent the wrong message of what I was attempting to suggest. My apologies to Tim, and to anybody who thought I was suggesting Tim was the one actually making this statement. What I intended for this to portray was that through Tim’s efforts, Sun is now providing support for languages *other* than Java, where as in the past, their stance was more of a “Java is all you need.”
In other words,
Sun Microsystems in years prior to 2006
“Java is all you need!”
Tim Bray: People really do want to program in other languages… Like Ruby, for example.
Sun Microsystems in 2006
“err, wait… Nevermind.”
Which is why I am suggesting that Tim is the fourth most influential person in the IT industry in 2006.
‘nuf said ;)
Again, my apologies for those who took this to mean something other than what I had intended. Was attempting to keep the reasoning behind each persons influence to as short of an explanation as possible, as I started to write quite a bit more about each person and realized that with ten people, this would have been WAY TOO LONG of a read, so I shortened it up. I realize now that I should have added at least another sentence or two to the original text to clarify what was meant.
One thing I should point out. If you read this post from a while back, it should be a bit more clear that I am of the mindset that it was Tim Bray’s influence that helped change the direction of the Java platform. In other words, to have written that entry, to then suggest Tim was of the belief that Java was all that mattered wouldn’t have made a whole lot of sense.
#3 : Jonathan Schwartz :: Sun Microsystems
In a period of about 8 months, Jonathan Schwartz has taken Sun Microsystems from a state of being dangerously close to a forgotten has-been to a company that now matters again.
#2 : Amazon Web Services Division :: Amazon.com
The “Little Guy” WINS!
#1 - Lawrence Lessig :: Creative Commons
I believe the most recent cover of Time Magazine says all that needs to be said,
Am I right? Am I wrong? Did I miss someone you feel deserves a spot?
If yes, then blog about it! ;)
** and we all, obviously, have our own viewpoint(s) and/or opinion(s)
*** while I can turn trackbacks on, they don’t seem to be displayed, (which makes sense if you have any experience with the “Trackback Hell” that is the default MT installation ;) so it doesn’t make much sense to suggest.