"LJ: Every famous man has his beginning. Bill
Gates, for example, began by writing his first program in Basic, a
program his school had bought. What was your beginning?
"BS: I think the key project was a distributed
systems simulator that I wrote in Simula67 as part of my PhD work
at Cambridge. However, much of what I did during my university
years contributed significantly. For example, I financed my Masters
degree by writing small commercial programs for the Arhus office of
Burroughs, a company that later merged with Univac to create
Unisys. There, I learned to develop programs that other people
would rely on for their livelihood; that's very different from just
getting a program to work for yourself or your friends. I also had
to design those programs in consultation with their eventual
end-users; that too was very different from simply solving a
programming exercise at the university. In addition, my work with
machine architecture helped me make decisions about programming
languages and implementation techniques.
"If you are interested in the personal aspects of the birth of
C++, you might consider reading the chapter about me and C++ in
Steve Lohr's book Go To: The Story of the Math Majors, Bridge
Players, Engineers, Chess Wizards, Scientists and Iconoclasts who
were the Hero Programmers of the Software Revolution (ISBN
0-46-504225-2). For a more technical description of the origins of
C++, see my book The Design and Evolution of C++..."