Niklaus Emil Wirth is a Swiss computer scientist, best known for designing several programming languages, including Pascal, and for pioneering several classic topics in software engineering. In 1984, he won the Turing Award for his innovative work. Computing Now board member Christian Timmerer interviewed Wirth in January about his career and experiences.

Articles by Niklaus Wirth


A Brief History of Software Engineering
This personal perspective on the art of programming begins with a look at the state of programming from about 1960, and it follows programming's development through the present day. Wirth examines key contributions to the field of software engineering and identifies major obstacles, which persist even today.

Good Ideas, through the Looking Glass
from Computer

Computing's history has been driven by many good and original ideas, but a few turned out to be less brilliant than they first appeared to be.

Part 3

In part 3 of this interview with CN board member Christian Timmerer, Wirth and Klagenfurt University professor Laszlo Böszörmenyi discuss whether universities should still teach compilers and share some words of wisdom for students and programmers.

Part 2

Wirth reflects on how PCs increased interest in Pascal and takes us behind the scenes to the fierce — and sometimes violent — debates over early computer languages' development.

Part 1

Wirth discusses the early days of his career and his influences.