In 2009 I was lucky enough to be selected to present at Software Development West (SD West), whilst in my 13 year career at Sybase. In those days I was a Senior Technical Evangelist, covering Enterprise Mobility with PocketBuilder and more...but that is secondary to my story.
It was during the event that I was preparing and talking a little 'me' time in the speaker ready room, when a gentleman came and sat down next to me at the table. It was when he was speaking to others, that I noticed he was not from the USA.
As I travel so much, I'm always interested in accents and nationalities, so I took a moment to ask him where he was from originally. I was right, as he told me that he was originally from Denmark, though he was now living in Texas, which was a coincidence as the trip I hap been on immediately before was to Copenhagen, Denmark. We spent a few minutes talking about my experiences of a wonderful city and then I turned our conversation to a more business & technical level. I asked him where he worked & he said he was a Tutor at Texas A&M University, so I asked further what he did... He's reply was... "a little bit of C++." Now this was of interest to me as I had never had any experience of a C based programming language at that time and I told him so. He asked me my expertise & I mentioned PowerBuilder, which to my delight, he had heard of.
After about 5-10 minutes he had to leave and we agreed to connect via a very well know business social network. It was only then that an old Sybase colleague, who was also in the room, asked me how I had met Bjarne? "Bjarne?" I said, still not fully knowing who my conversation had been with... Yes you guessed it Bjarne Stroustrupthe inventor of C++ !!!
Now the reason I have blogged about this, is that since then I have always been in awe of how humble Bjarne was in that conversation with me... "a little bit of C++" :-), what a very nice guy he is and one that's helped make a massive difference! Last week I was so pleased to see that this year Bjarne was one of the three new distinguished technology leaders honored in the Computer History Museum's 2015 Fellow Awards. See the full announcement here. Well done Bjarne... for he's a jolly good fellow!!!
Also, if you do not know SAP is a sponsor of this excellent Museum in Mountain View, CA!!! If you are ever in the area, you have to visit!