Surprise! I haven’t blogged in a long time (except for the blurbs about the EclipseCon 2012 program, which has turned out great, BTW). There’s probably a few good reasons why I haven’t spent much time here. The main one, I guess, to quote poor Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, I’ve been a bit “lost in the woods” myself. But like him, that’s more a state of mind than fact. And for 2012, I see a few paths that will lead me out of this cloud (or into one which would be one of the paths :).
We lost a lot of great people last year. I’m not sure if it’s just my perception because of what happened in my life, but it seems more than usual. For me, it was the loss of my Dad to cancer after a year long battle. He inspired me to live my life with honour and respect for everyone, something which I try to do a lot in my work as the CDT project lead. Communities built based on respect and openness to all comers is the key to success.
Of course, there was Steve Jobs. My wife got me his biography for Christmas and I finished it a couple of days ago. The parallels in his physical condition with my Dad’s was amazing. While Steve waited too long to get treatment, my Dad waited too long to get diagnosed and both ended up with their cancer metastasized to their livers which brought about their end. Dad was pretty weak at the end, couldn’t eat due to the morphine, but he made one last trip to my dear cousin’s wedding where everyone got to see him one last time. Steve was the same and had his last trip to resign as Apple’s CEO and had a nice chance to say goodbye. All in all, it’s a lesson to take care of yourselves. Treatments are getting pretty good but you got to catch it and act early.
As for Jobs’ life and times, I’ll dedicate a whole blog article on that. Reading the book was pretty eye opening. I learned a lot about how he really operated and the true reason for his success. And I also got a look into the history and life in Silicon Valley which you don’t learn much out here in the wilderness other than the occasional visit. One thing is for sure, I’m pretty sure that life has passed me by and I only regret it a little :).
There were other famous people that passed. Dennis Ritchie being the foremost for me. He doesn’t get enough credit for the changes he brought to our industry. Yes, he invented C and helped create Unix, but more importantly, those technologies let average programmers in on the action. Unix machines have always been everywhere and accessible and with their built-in C compiler, you just needed an account to join in on the fun. It’s where most of my generation started and why I’m so passionate about the CDT and enabling new generations to learn how to play with fire.
Well, let’s stop there for now. I have a lot more to write about and have a new found energy to write about it. I’m hoping this year will be a much better year for me and a great year for you all. Expect to see more in this spot than you have in a long time.