Almost there...

Monday, September 29, 2003

About a year ago, I came to work on the Workflow project on campus. Our job was to build a web-based approval system for HR transactions in PeopleSoft that would work not only for PeopleSoft, but would be expandable to allow approval for other administrative systems on campus. The eventual goal was to have one central place where staff could go to approve transactions. We were a small team of four people - the Project Manager, the Analyst, the Programmer, and the Campus Readiness Specialist. There was also a consultant and the guy doing the Crossworlds stuff, and the admin assistant who was ours about 10% of the time, but we were the core team. With such a small team, once we learned to work together, things went really well. We delivered a great solution, on time, within budget, with very little stress to the team or the user community.

One of the things that made the team great was our programmer, Volt. We would come up with wacky design solutions, and he would never say no. The worst he ever said was that something would take a little longer than something else.

Volt died this weekend in a freak shower accident. Apparently he slipped and cut his arm on the glass shower door, managed to call 911, but bled to death before the paramedics arrived. He was 34.

Volt was a great guy who had his life together. He was smart and personable and easy to work with. The four of us made a fantastic team because we had the perfect blend of youth and age, perfectly gender balanced, and could always find someone to share with. Volt was there with a similar linguistic style to mine, and a similar willingness to try anything that the other (older) half of the team would temper with caution and wisdom. And now Volt is gone. And I just can't believe it.

Carpe diem. You never know which one will be your last.


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