Joe Armstrong, British computer scientist, Died at 68

Joseph “Joe” Leslie Armstrong was born on December 27, 1950, in Bournemouth, England, and died on April 20, 2019; he was a computer scientist working in the area of fault-tolerant distributed systems.

He is best known as the writer of the Erlang programming language.
Joseph was born in Bournemouth in 1950.


At 17, Joseph began programming Fortran on his school district’s mainframe. This experience helped him during his physics studies at University College London, where he debugged the programs of his fellow students in exchange for beer.

While serving for the Ericsson Computer Science Lab, he helped develop Erlang in 1986.

Joseph obtained a PhD in computer science from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden in 2003. His dissertation was titled Making reliable distributed systems in the presence of software errors.

He has been a professor at KTH since 2014; Joseph “Joe” Leslie Armstrong passed away at the age of 68 on April 20, 2019.