I ran into this video of David Crane from GDC 2011:
And it just kind of blows my mind that the engineers of my childhood are still alive. Although I didn't know it when I was playing these games as a kid, the developers for Atari have over time turned into heroes in my mind. I really cannot imagine what it would have been like programming without the tools and resources that we have today.
To the David Cranes, Warren Robinetts, Steve Wozniaks, and countless others - Thank you for pioneering into the unknown. Some day I wish to shake your hand in person!