A year ago today Malcolm Tredinnick, core contributor to Django suddenly passed away. He was a mentor, and more importantly, a good friend.
Here are some of my memories of Malcolm.
This is where Audrey and I first met Malcolm. We ended up spending a good amount of the conference with him just hanging out and having a good time. I remember being honored that such a luminary wanted to spend time with us, yet was more delighted in discovering a good friend.
During the conference, he peered into the nascent code base of djangopackages.com and asked some pointed questions. We justified a few design decisions, and he agreed, and we saw him using similar techniques later. He gave us some great pointers on things we could do, and I believe we implemented all of them.
Malcolm and I worked together on a project in 2010. During this time we had a number of email and chat discussions. Going over them now I'm impressed by his friendship and generosity of knowledge. I know he was terribly busy but yet he always had time for me in 2010.
After about 15 emails where I addressed him as 'Malcom', Malcolm finally got me to consistently spell his name correctly with a single sentence:
You might be amazed at how cranky it makes me when people try to spell Malcolm with only one \"l\".
This was Malcolm: Acerbic yet tempered with a smile.
We had just arrived in Sydney. Our first overseas trip together! Audrey was giving the opening keynote at PyCon Australia. She wanted to practice her speech but I was restless. So she suggested that I go out for dinner, specifically sushi train with Malcolm Tredinnick and Russell Keith-Magee. I don't remember anything about the food, but I do remember having a great time with good friends.
After the conference one evening Audrey and I spent a few hours with just Malcolm walking around Sydney. None of us wanted it to end. The time spent together outside of the insane pace of a conference was a poignant reminder that even with email, chat, and IRC, there was still thousands of miles between us.
On his own dollar, Malcolm had dropped everything to attend. He spoke, he taught, and he made many friends. I have to admit being jealous of the students in the Django tutorial he taught because they got to spend time with him. ;)
It was our last time with Malcolm, and it was so brief, so limited. I was okay with that because I thought I would get a chance to see him again.
If you read the memorial we wrote for Malcolm, you can see that his presence is an integral part of Two Scoops of Django. He coached us, guided us, forced us to dig deeper and deeper into source code. Of special note is the database chapter (excluding the 1.6 edition transactions), which he really focused on.
What Matt Croydon says:
Celebrate the life of @malcolmt today: be nice to someone, help someone learn something, and push some code. Tomorrow: repeat.— Matt Croydon (@mc) March 19, 2013
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