This month the National Academy of Engineering will present Bjarn Stroustrup with the prestigious Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering “for conceptualizing and developing the C++ programming language”. It is truly one of the most widely used and influential computing programming languages.
The Danish computer scientist started his work on C++ at ATT&T’s Bell Labs in the 80’s where he headed up their Large Scale Programming Research Department. Using C code as a base, he applied the idea of “classes” to represent relational concepts. This “C with Classes” evolved into C++ and its advantage of being able to efficiently perform high level abstractions.
Listen to Stroustrup himself on why he created C++ here.
National Academy of Engineering President C. D. Mote, Jr. called the creation of the C++ programming language “a monumental, singular influence on the field of computing.” And it isn’t just the 4.5 million C++ programmers, including John Galt Staffing’s C++ developers who have cause for celebration.
Whether you Google something, connect with Facebook friends, use a smart phone or get a CAT Scan, you are inevitably touched by Stroustrup’s innovation. Because of C++’s seamless integration into our lives, it goes largely unnoticed. Its invisibility rivals its ubiquity.
So while his achievement is everywhere yet unseen, we are thrilled that the father of C++ will receive his due recognition. As the NAE President put it, “His creation reminds our society of the extraordinary impact that an outstanding engineer can have on our world.”