On Jim

Jim Weirich was a gentle, brilliant man, and the world is a much dimmer place without him.

When I first interviewed at EdgeCase years back I was in awe of him; simply as an outsider being aware of his contributions.

I walked in my first day, stopping just short to take a breath and when I turned the corner, Jim was sitting right there. He sprang up and shook my hand and said “Nice to meet you, I’m Jim.”

Months later I witnessed him give a lunch and learn where he live coded and refactored Lambda calculus — while eating Chipotle. The man didn’t break a sweat nor fumble his code.

Fast forward again and I was asked to help him at a Precompiler session at CodeMash; which I was humbled to accept. I didn’t have 10% of his knowledge and yet I was to supplement his lecture somehow. During pairing time we chatted and he thanked me for helping him.

Fast forward again and I was giving a talk at a conference. I was just about to go on and I was nervous. As I stepped up Jim walked in and sat down in the front row. When I finished my talk he clapped harder than anyone else.

I was asked in an interview once who I respected most in the Ruby community and Jim was the first person I mentioned. His gentle character was tremendous considering the glow of knowledge that eminated from him.

He never held himself higher than anyone else, and he was the first to smile and shake a hand.

He was a great man, and I will miss him.

Originally published at blog.matt-darby.com.