Who doesn’t have a list like this? Here’s mine, in no particular order:
- Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto – the inventor of Ruby, a language that revived my love of programming and turned my career back into a passion. My interest in meeting Matz is amplified by our common connections to the LDS church in Japan and in the way he inspires the ruby community to be helpful and friendly.
- Stephen King – one of the most prolific American writers ever and a true craftsman. His career is evidence of something I really believe – that if you keep trying to improve at something you care about, you will, and it will matter.
- David Heinemeier Hansson & Jason Fried – As much as I appreciate Ruby on Rails, the attitude these two guys have about building a good business has influenced me more. At some point, something better than Ruby on Rails may come along, but the bootstrapper mentality will always be relevant.
- Carl Erickson – the founder of Atomic Object in Grand Rapids, MI, Carl exemplifies the leadership qualities I admire most. Technically, I’ve already met him, but if I hadn’t he would be on this list. If you care at all about building a company that is great, but not necessarily big, you should follow his writing.
This isn’t just a list of people I want to meet, it’s a list of people I try to be learn from and be like. So, if you’re on this list, thanks for your example. I appreciate it.