My Friend, Tim Tripcony


The XMage and I first met in North Carolina at Lotusphere Comes to You in 2007. We had collaborated on some open source projects before, but had never been in the same room until that point. I was smitten. And I managed to convince my bosses at the time to make him an offer. He accepted and our worlds were forever changed.

Over the last 7 years, Tim and I shared a deep collaboration that, while it faced its share of struggles, stemmed from our enduring friendship. It saddens me that we’ll never get to finish each other’s code blocks or pick a blog fight or present a session together again. It makes my soul ache that I’ll never get to roll my eyes at one of his cheesy puns or pretend we can dance at a music festival or be his wingman and introduce him to a pretty girl ever again.

Much has been and will be said about Tim’s genius and generosity and every word of it will barely scratch the surface of the contributions he’s made. Having worked keyboard-to-keyboard with him for many years, I would add that he always used both sides of his brain in every line of code, applying musical creativity and linguistic flourishes right along with his anonymous callbacks and love of ternary notation.

Unlike most of my readers, I knew a Tim who would sit on the floor and play with my dogs for hours after Christmas dinner. I knew a Tim who snored like an elephant after too many white Russians at Kimono’s. I knew a Tim who fought through a haze of tears to share with me the loss of his marriage. I knew a Tim who nearly punched a Dolphin network tech in the face while we sat backstage at Lotusphere watching months of planning and effort blow up in our faces. I knew a Tim who fell asleep sitting upright in a hotel bed trying to get just one more bug fixed before our big demo. I knew a Tim who would would come over to my house on a Sunday to write some crazy piece of code together, because while making a computer do what you want is fun, doing it with your best friend on a self-imposed deadline just because you can is positively gut-busting.

I knew Tim; and I am a better coder, a better husband, a better father, a better man for it.

I wish I’d given him as much as he gave me.

EDIT: My friend Cheryl Spring shared this picture on Facebook and I thought it was too perfect to withhold.


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22 comments on “My Friend, Tim Tripcony
  1. Steve Pridemore says:

    Nathan, we were all so very lucky to have been touched by Tim but you were blessed to have been best friends and he was blessed to have you in his life as well.

  2. Very well said. I am very sorry for your loss.

  3. This is a big loss for so many, but clearly a very personal one for you. Please know that I am thinking of you tonight as well, with my deepest condolences.

  4. Mat Newman says:

    A truly sad day NTF. I’m so sorry. (hug)

  5. This is devastating news. I am truly at a loss of words. I knew him little, but that was enough.

    He will be sorely missed 😦

  6. Jason says:

    He was a star (like you). I admired him and admire him still, he left an indelible impression. I’m profoundly shocked and lack the words to express how sad this makes me feel. I can’t imagine how you are feeling so I will just say take care to you and to Tim.

  7. We all loved Tim!
    I know you were close, and I’ve been thinking about you ever since I heard the terrible news.
    Take care. He will not be forgotten.

  8. Wow, to have a best friend who is also a professional teammate that comes over to “work” together on the weekends. How cool is that?! Nathan, I’m envious. I only got to share in standup meetings with him every week. Trying to remember the good because it hurts like hell.

  9. Niklas Heidloff says:

    So sad to hear about Tim.

    Very well written, Nathan.

  10. Sjaak Ursinus says:

    Nathan … You have had so many good times with him that should give you a smile over the years for sure ! But for now its a sour pill to take I understand that and I wish you all best wishes with that and to all other close ones to tim !

  11. spanky762 says:

    Thank you.

  12. Don McNally says:

    You’ve been on my mind since I heard the news, This is a great tribute to Tim. Be well, my friend.

  13. Don Mottolo says:

    It was impossible not to love the guy – they just don’t make them any better than Tim.

  14. John Paganetti says:

    My deepest condolences to you Nathan and to Tim’s family and all the people Tim clearly touched…

  15. Christopher Byrne says:

    Nathan, I wish I had the right words to share with you right now, but I don’t. I never saw Tim without his big red hair and smile and that is the image of I carry of him. Perhaps his greatest gift, for me, is that you have shared a side of yourself here, about a special bond you had with Tim, that I had never really seen. Peace and solid thoughts/prayers!

  16. Thanks for sharing that Nathan … and thanks for sharing the photo

  17. ash says:

    Tim was a beloved friend to me from high school. So much relief comes to me when I hear his friends from his recent life say such warm words about him. I’m grateful he was not alone.

  18. What a shocking news, I’m just reading about it. So many memories are now bubbling up, from the coding exchanges, the parties @connect, the informal discussions, his great presenter talents… I can still not believe it. I can see him floating around.
    If you have a picture of Tim with his long hairs, that would be a great one as well.

  19. Very well done. I cannot express my sorrow or shock at learning the news. You did so very well.

  20. A friend says:

    Nathan, thank you for writing this. Tim was a dear friend many years ago – we shared our poetry (i don’t understand code… 😉 ) – I miss his light in my life as I’m sure you do. His memorial today in Colorado was beautiful and he himself is unforgettable.

Take the red pill.

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