An “Outsider’s” view of Tim Tripcony

I was at a loss yesterday when I heard about Tim from Scott Hooks. I’m still doing some soul searching, but since a lot of the ‘collaboration family’ is sharing their thoughts, I thought that I’d share mine.

As some of you know, I’m primarily an administrator, and I refer to myself only as a ‘closet developer’. I used to believe that when referring to administrators versus developers, it’s was ‘us vs. them’. That all changed the first time I met Tim.

I knew that Tim was a development rockstar, but had no idea how much of a nice person he was until I was just sitting one day with a few developer friends, and Tim walked into the room. All of a sudden, all eyes and ears were on him, and I too found myself moving closer and closer to listen in to some of the most eloquent code being discussed and some of the most far out ideas being discussed as though it was one line of code away from reality. (As it usually turned out, it was only one or two lines away from reality!) As I sat there, I found myself asking questions and Tim was usually the first one to answer me. When many of the ‘developer rockstars’ talk to me about what they’re doing, they talk over my head or talk down to me… Tim would talk over my head about his ideas, but then he would then explain what he just said in a way that I would understand AND he would never look down on me as ‘one of those admins’. It was Tim that helped me realize that we’re all in the same boat, but just rowing on each side of it.

From that initial day, we were friends. Whenever we caught up with each other, he would still talk way over my head, but I always seemed to hang on and keep up with what he was saying and doing. In some ways, he reminded me of my father, he was soft-spoken, but when he spoke, you listened, not because he forced you to listen, but that you wanted to listen. Every word he said was significant, whether it was about a piece of development code, current events, or anything in between.

Those of you that had the honor of knowing him better than I did should be thankful for those nuggets of time, because you are all better for knowing him. I know that I am….

Thank you, Tim, for speaking with me that first time… My life is better for knowing you and calling you friend.