Today I found out that a really nice software engineer I worked with about 3 years ago passed away of cancer. I knew he was sick, that’s what people told me, but nobody said how sick he was. It was also a bit of a secret, I think because he wanted it that way. Different people deal differently with illness/grief and I respect that – it still would have been nice to see him.
I do have a wonderful picture of him in my mind – drinking his motor-oil-like coffee and working on debugging really difficult parts of code. There are few software engineers who are friendly and helpful with newbie technical writers who speak really fast (in a strange accent) and write even faster. Mr. K was one of them. You could always count on him to explain the same concept a zillion times patiently, without getting angry at all. In fact, I’ve never seen him angry in the 2.5 years that I worked with him.
RIP Mr. K. It was wonderful working with you.