Robert "Rob" Pike (born 1956) is a Canadian programmer and author. He is best known for his work on the Go programming language and at Bell Labs, where he was a member of the Unix team and was involved in the creation of the Plan 9 from Bell Labs and Inferno operating systems, as well as the Limbo programming language.

Rob Pike
Rob Pike at OSCON 2010
Born1956 (age 65–66)
Alma mater
OccupationSoftware engineer
Known forPlan 9, UTF-8, Go
Spouse(s)Renée French

He also co-developed the Blit graphical terminal for Unix; before that he wrote the first window system for Unix in 1981. Pike is the sole inventor named in US patent 4,555,775.[1]

Over the years Pike has written many text editors; sam[2] and acme are the most well known and are still in active use and development.

Pike, with Brian Kernighan, is the co-author of The Practice of Programming and The Unix Programming Environment. With Ken Thompson he is the co-creator of UTF-8. Pike also developed lesser systems such as the vismon program for displaying faces of email authors.

Pike also appeared once on Late Night with David Letterman, as a technical assistant to the comedy duo Penn & Teller.

Pike has worked for Google since 2002. While at Google, he has been involved in the creation of the programming languages Go and Sawzall.[3]

Pike is married to author and illustrator Renée French; the couple live in both the US and Australia.[4]

See alsoEdit

  • The plumber – the interprocess communications mechanism used in Plan 9 and Inferno
  • Mark V. Shaney – an artificial Usenet poster designed by Pike


  1. ^ "Dynamic generation and overlaying of graphic windows for multiple active program storage areas". Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  2. ^ McIlroy, M. D. (1987). A Research Unix reader: annotated excerpts from the Programmer's Manual, 1971–1986 (PDF) (Technical report). CSTR. Bell Labs. 139.
  3. ^ Pike, Rob; Dorward, Sean; Griesemer, Robert; Quinlan, Sean (2005-01-01). "Interpreting the Data: Parallel Analysis with Sawzall". Scientific Programming. 13 (4): 227–298. doi:10.1155/2005/962135.
  4. ^ "Renee French – A River Runs Through It – Artist Interview". WOW x WOW. 27 July 2015.

External linksEdit