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One of the most important programmers around today. John Carmack may be Gee-Zero-Dee, Linus Torvalds may have used something called a GPL, but Avie wrote the Mach operating system which revolutionized Microkernel design (or at least was a seriously big step) while at Carnegie-Mellon. (check out Mach microkernel) He was quickly hired by NeXT, which used his ideas to spawn an OS so good, we're still talking about it. NeXTStep was a breeze to use, an 8-year old was able to write apps for it, and ran apps cross-platform in ways that Java is still trying to catch up to.

When NeXT was purchased outright by Apple Computer in January of 1997, Steve Jobs brought Avie along with him. He was promoted to Senior Vice President of Software Engineering the next month, where he was given everything he wanted, including the moon, to start writing the best OS in the world. This was to be using NeXTstep technologies's power and ease of use, and the ability to run Mac programs, culminating in Mac OS X. While we may never know the hundreds who makes Windows, Avie has been the Senior Vice President of Software Engineering since 1997, reporting to Steve Jobs himself.

He's very resourceful, if you trust the mac rumor mill sites. Apparently he's been secretly porting Mac OS X to other processor architectures in case Motorola goes out of business, or the G4 proves to hit a wall or whatever (code named Marklar). Forget Phil Schiller, this is the guy who makes slashdot geeks want Apple computers.

His bio, from Apple.com:

Avadis "Avie" Tevanian, Jr., Ph.D
Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Apple Computer, Inc.

Avie Tevanian joined Apple Computer, Inc. in February of 1997 as senior vice president of Software Engineering. Reporting directly to the CEO, Mr. Tevanian is directly responsible for Apple's Software Engineering group.

Before joining Apple, Tevanian was vice president of Engineering at NeXT , and was responsible for managing NeXT's industry renowned engineering department.Tevanian started his professional career at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a principal designer and engineer of the Mach operating system upon which NEXTSTEP is based.

Tevanian joined NeXT as an engineer on the NEXTSTEP team in January 1988. He quickly moved up the ranks and managed the operating system, responsible for NEXTSTEP development and technology advances. Tevanian then managed a team responsible for porting NEXTSTEP to RISC-based systems and development of Portable Distributed Objects, the NeXT technology that made it possible to develop software on multiple operating systems. He was vice president of NeXT engineering from March 1995 reporting directly to Steve Jobs.

Now a recognized pioneer in creating cross-platform development environments used worldwide, Tevanian heads up the engineering teams that make Apple's current products award-winning and proven. Tevanian holds a Ph.D. and a Masters of Science degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from the University of Rochester.

He made just over $450,000US in 2001. If you've ever used Mac OS X, you'd agree he deseved it.

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