Wednesday 2 October 2013

Of Bruce Elgort , (very small) Alien Abduction, OpenNTF and changing times.

The story of Bruce.

So today is one of those rare moments of transition when something moves from one era to another. Specifically Mr Bruce Elgort is after an illustrious career at the helm of OpenNTF is standing down as chairperson ... or should that be "is standing up from the chair" because if he doesn't stand up then they will need another chair .. anyway I digress.

I first met Bruce in 2007 when we were both abducted by  aliens easily identifiable by the fact they are  physically incapable of saying the words "Three" and "Column".These aliens plied us with drink arranged bus tours gave us a bag full of  "things" (thankfully there were no USB devices that could have been used for "probing") and held captive in a hotel in Dublin for several days. It was noted that aliens in question had assimilated themselves into the geek community by pretending to be Paul Mooney and Eileen Fitzgerald. Like white mice in a maze we were subjected to a series of tests one of which was to stand in front of a room full of other abductees and talk for an hour about something interesting and educational, whilst this test was going on our alien overloads hovered in the background with clipboards and waved signs that told us what would happen to kittens if we didn't stop talking.

I remember that afternoon as if it were 6 years ago, there I was along with 50 or 60 other abductees, tired and over emotional herded into a large room clutching a bag of "stuff" to hear all about "Free Stuff" and "OpenNTF" in particular from the triumvirate of Pettitt, Schumann and Elgort. We to a geek left that session buzzing with apps, code and a desire to find an Internet connection and start downloading and in my case uploading stuff to OpenNTF. But this was 2007 and we were in Dublin, the Internet had not been invented, indeed inside toilets and wire coat hangers were still some years in the Ireland's future. So there nothing to do other than drink Guinness and had to amuse ourselves by taking notes with a thing called "A PEN" on a device called "PAPER" - oh how the world has changed. I still have the Blackberry Notepad with the phrases "Elgort" - "Rather Bald" - and "Ben Poole  is not a Wiki- Mark Myers is a Wiki" and  "OpenNTF" the latter being underlined in 3 colours with 6 exclamation marks

Bruce has had many adventures since, when you have a hour to spare buy me a pint and ask me how Bruce rescued the party of nuns from the pirates using nothing but a RESTful API, a goat, some moisturiser and a funky paradiddle.

Bruce old bean you will be a very hard act to follow! So from this one example of someone you helped get "really" going in the geek profession - thank you for your indefatigable energy and enthusiasm .. it really did and does help folk like me get off their arses and start learning!

PS. Oh and thank you for having the amazingly good taste to marry the ever lovely Gayle ;-)

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