Nobody Knows _why

By Lachlan Hardy
2000h Thursday, 10 September 2009 Permalink
My Sweet Children

My Sweet Children: Lachlan Hardy

And nobody seems to know why he left.

It hurt me, though. In lots of ways that are hard to talk about. I felt betrayed. Like something beautiful had been taken from the world — my world. It hurt and I was sad. In that same strange way I was when I heard that Heath Ledger died.

I didn’t have the time or energy to do anything about it. I was busy. Big chain of dependent releases at work, a couple of presentations to prepare and the like. So I didn’t do anything, but I kept thinking about it.

Then came the news earlier this week that Jeffrey Walker was ill. I mean, he was already ill. He had fucking cancer. But he’d had it before and his indomitable will and sheer love of living would surely mean that he’d conquer this too.

Not this time.

We said goodbye to Jeffrey last week. I’m not going to say much more about that, except that loss on that scale obviously made me take stock.

What to do?

I know what Jeffrey would say. He’d tell me to kick some ass. He’d tell me to stop feeling sorry for myself, get off my butt, and go do something awesome!

With that in mind, I look back at _why and think about why I miss him. Is it the glorious, amazing, complicated, mindbending, potentially demented code? The obscure, sometimes incomprehensible, blog posts? The cartoon foxes? The chunky bacon?

I have a copy of Nobody Knows Shoes and it is the best software book ever. The only possible exception being _why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby, but I’ve never seen a physical copy of that. Why is it the best? It’s fucking fun!

The whole thing creates a sense of wonder and adventure. It’s random, jumbled, confusing and utterly unbelievably glorious fun.

When was the last time you said that about something to do with software or web development? (and if ever, was that because of _why?)

He was a special and unique snowflake. As are we all. And I’m going to turn these losses into gains.

The software world doesn’t have _why any more and Atlassian doesn’t have Jeffrey but that doesn’t mean we can’t have awesomeness. Every single fucking day. I’m going to put as much out there as I can. It won’t all be awesome. Hell, it won’t even all be good. But it’ll be out there.

I’m starting with this site. It’s not entirely awesome yet, but it will be. Change your feed subscription to the new hottness because FeedGoogle (sorry, Feedburner) is not enhancing my awesome. (And doesn’t Goo gle know enough about you already?)

This is my challenge to myself:

When was the last time you made something awesome?

If I can’t answer, “today” or “this week” then what the fuck am I doing? We all have bad days. We all have bad weeks. None of us want a bad life.

This is my challenge to myself. And to you.