History is littered with the stories of iconoclasts – people who truly stood out as pioneers, lateral thinkers, and in some cases, outright heroes–and their successes and failures. From the baseball management vision of Branch Hickey to the glassblowing vision of Dale Chihuly to the engineering design vision of Steve Jobs, iconoclasts have changed our world in subtle and profound ways, sometimes loudly, sometimes quietly.

For an industry that seems so ripe and so rife with «special personalities», it would seem that programming is tied up deeply with iconoclasm. But what defines the iconoclast, what demarcates the «true» iconoclast from the mere pretender, and how can we use the characteristics of the iconoclast to change our own immediate surroundings for the better?

Ted Neward 

An independent consultant specializing in high-scale enterprise systems. He speaks on the conference circuit, discussing Java, .NET and XML service technologies, focusing on Java-.NET interoperability. He is author/co-author of Effective Enterprise Java, C# In a Nutshell, SSCLI Essentials, Server-Based Java Programming, and an Microsoft MVP Architect.