Content Warning: Death of a Ruby community member
We have lost a great man in the Ruby community in the last week. A man of immeasurable impact, of technical prowess and wisdom, but above all?:
We lost a man of true kindness.
The passing of Chris Seaton has impacted us all, and he will be sorely missed in our community.
A Wise Man
Chris was one of if not the smartest Ruby developers I knew. Heck, he even had a PhD in Ruby and was actively involved in academic circles in pushing the boundaries of what was thought to be possible both in the language and in programming in general.
He was a mentor who guided so many folks, a teacher who empowered others, and a source of innumerable knowledge to anyone who would ask. It didn't matter how busy he was, he would take time, and he would make time to help others grow in their knowledge.
The careers and growth of several engineers can be directly attributed in part to his openness and knowledge sharing.
A Kind Man
But why I respect Chris, and why I was proud to call him a friend, was his kindness.
He would go out of his way to help others at any time. He frequently spent significant time at conferences and other events bringing people together, making introductions, and celebrating with anyone and everyone around. He would always check in on others and make sure they were taken care of, and that they had what they needed.
Within the last month I was in a dark place regarding my involvement in the Ruby community, and whether I had a place here. Chris messaged me immediately and spent time to rebuke that notion, to make sure I was ok, and to get me back on track by reflecting the impact I had on others.
Now it's my turn to reflect on you my friend, though I wish you could have been here for it.
To Be Kind
Chris lived a life of kindness, a life in service of others, of lifting them up and seeing them reach their potentials.
Of all the comments, threads, tweets, and posts around his passing one consistent theme rings out louder than the rest:
We loved him because he was kind.
Let us all seek to live such a life, a life that on our own passing it is said that we too were kind and made the world a better place. Let it be said that we cared for others, and that we raised each other up to greater heights.
Let us live a life as Chris lived, in his honor, and in his memory.
Rest in peace my friend, may you find comfort and solace, and know that now and forever more you have left an immeasurable impact on those of us in this community.
We will miss you dearly.
Top comments (4)
This is so sad to hear about.
Chris was one of the first people to ever be featured on DEV (Back when the only author was me, so I mostly did interviews).
Chris Seaton on Massively Improving Ruby Performance with JRuby+Truffle
Ben Halpern ・ Jan 28 '16 ・ 7 min read
He was one of the first because he replied to the email, and was kind enough with his time.
Chris influenced me to better understand Ruby development, and programming in general — particularly related to performance.
I'd never met Chris IRL, but absolutely loved him from all our interactions — our last of which was a DM exchange about YouTube ads.
I am deeply saddened, and I will take this as an opportunity to ensure I not be shy to let people know when they have had a major positive influence on me — like Chris had.
I couldn't believe it when I read it this morning. I didn't know Chris, at least personally, I'm just a ruby developer and was a mere spectator of his great work.
And even being so far from him I knew he was a humble, noble and really smart guy, intuitions that have been confirmed by all the nice things his closest ones have shared lately.
Rest in peace.