The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named Microsoft Research principal researcher Leslie Lamport as the winner of this year's Turing Award, computer science's equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Lamport did a lot of work related to distributed computing that helped make possible modern technologies like cloud computing, big data tools and peer-to-peer file sharing. His contributions include the Paxos algorithm and the logical clock protocol.
"It’s certainly a great honor to be in the company of such wonderful Turing Award winners, people I respect and learned an awful lot from like Butler Lampson, Jim Gray and Dijkstra," said Lamport, who receives $250,000 along with the prize.
Lamport advises developers that "you should write the instruction manual before you write programs. If you can’t explain clearly what this thing does and how to use it, then the user won’t be able to figure it out and you’ll be producing pretty lousy programs."