In the early 1990s, James Gosling understood the need for a universal
computer programming language
, a language that would allow for
communication between all sorts of machines. He mustered his talents and
went to work, emerging with Oak, the precursor to Java.
Years later, Java, the first general purpose programming language, was
born. Javas success was quick and lasting, and since it has been
introduced to the market, Gosling has gained enormous recognition.
One of three children, James Gosling was born in 1955, just outside of
Calgary. Electronically proficient at an unusually young age, it should
not be surprising that he has advanced the world of computing so
profoundly. When he was 12, his parents found him constructing an electric
tic-tac-toe game from spare parts taken from a telephone and television.
Deciding to encourage this burgeoning interest, family friends took
Gosling to the computer lab at the University of Calgaryhe was 14.
A major turning point in his life, Gosling found himself participating
less in his high school classes and spending more time in the computer lab
at the university. After graduating from high school, Gosling began
studying at the University of Calgary. While earning his Bachelor of
Science degree, he developed a text editor called Emacs, which became the
most widely used UNIX text editor in the world. He continued his education
at the University of Alberta, achieving a Masters degree before he moved
to Pittsburgh to obtain his doctoral degree at Carnegie Mellon University.
His first job out of university was writing software at IBM. Though he
remained with the company for a number of years, they never produced any
of his work. So, in 1984, when Sun Microsystems Inc. offered Gosling a
position, he accepted their offer. Today, almost 20 years later, he is a
vice-president in the company.
Gosling admits he is the sort of person who gets terribly excited with new
technology, but he also knows that success is driven by the market and its
customers. He understands people will buy a product if it solves a problem
and improves their life in some way. That said, Gosling takes pride in
being able to deliver technology, such as Java, as it does its job without
the user being aware of it.
Gosling currently lives in Redwood City, California with his wife Judy and
their two daughters, Kate and Kelsey. Although he has lived in the United
States for over 20 years, Gosling continues to feel Canadian and returns
often to visit the rest of his family.
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