Marconi Chair Vint Cerf on His ‘Love Affair’ With Tech and What’s Coming Next

The father of the internet looks back at the last 50 years and ahead to what faces IT

When internet pioneer Vinton Cerf was 10, he was working on advanced math, and by the time he was 17, he was tinkering at programming at UCLA and beginning a lifelong “love affair” with computing.

Today, Cerf, known as the father of the internet, says software bugs are among the biggest dangers to enterprise IT and warns of the mounting challenges the IT community must face in what he calls the “digital dark age.”

Widely recognized for his contributions to technology, Cerf, 73, was awarded the U.S. National Medal of Technology for co-founding and developing the internet. He also was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the A.M. Turing Award and 29 honorary degrees.

Through the years, Cerf has been on the faculty of Stanford University and was a principal scientist at DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. At other times in his career he was a systems engineer at IBM and a senior vice president at the former MCI. He is now vice president and chief internet evangelist for Google.

Computerworld spoke with Cerf as part of its 50th anniversary of covering the tech industry.