Dennis Ritchie went on to create multiple aspects of modern computing culture. Indeed, odd hours, obsessed screen time, sloppy dress, funky naming conventions, and – most importantly – those attributed tied to brilliant and useful code all belong to Ritchie.
Sometime between Ritchie, the software engineer straight enough to gain employment at Bell Labs, and Ritchie, the bearded software guru, is Ritchie, the inventor of the most significant programming language created, C. Obviously, hinting at why he later favored interesting names, C is the predecessor to the languages A then B. No sooner did Ritchie release C than it spread like kudzu. Eventually, every professional programmer knew C, even if was not their preferred language.
C remains widely in use. It was succeeded by the ubiquitous C++, where ++ is a notation that increments a variable by one. Java is arguably the next iteration. Java creator James Gosline likely avoided naming his language anything tied to F in the scheme of grades.
Besides being ubiqutous, C allowed program portability. Programmers wrote applications in C that then compiled into machine language computers understood. This allowed programmers to write one program that ran on many different computers.
Unix inventor Ken Thompson was also instrumental in the development of C.