Malcolm McIlroy

Updated: 09/15/2017 by Computer Hope
Malcolm McIlroy

Name: Malcolm (Doug) Douglas McIlroy

Born: 1932

Computer-related contributions

  • Mathematician, engineer, and programmer known for Unix pipelines, software componentry, and several Unix tools, such as spell, diff, sort, join, graph, speak and tr.
  • His seminal work on software componentization, makes him a pioneer of Component-based software engineering and software product line engineering.
  • McIlroy joined Bell Laboratories in 1958, from 1965-1986 was head of its Computing Techniques Research Department (the birthplace of the Unix operating system), and thereafter was Distinguished Member of Technical Staff.


"The real hero of programming is the one who writes negative code."

"As a programmer, it is your job to put yourself out of business. What you do today can be automated tomorrow."