In Memory of Zigzag Chen
Many of you may have already heard about the tragic swimming accident that took our friend and colleague Zigzag’s life last week. We want to take this moment to tell the community about what a wonderful person he was and express how much we will miss our teammate.
Zigzag was an exceptional person. He had many passions, but most notable, Zig had a thirst for knowledge, one that eventually led him out of the Java world and into the Ruby community where he quickly made himself at home. After teaching himself Ruby and Ruby on Rails, he didn’t hesitate to start giving back to the community. He began by blogging about Ruby, creating small open source applications that he put up on github, and contributing to open source software projects that he believed in, like Sonar and Redmine.
“Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people
who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
Zigzag was one of those people who had “come alive.” He was passionate in his ideals and lived by them. Zig was courageously outspoken against the “Great Firewall of China”; his belief in free access to information drove his enthusiasm to be part of a strong, open source community. He was the kind of programmer that relied on the wisdom and knowledge of his community and was always eager to give back.
Zig’s death has been a painful loss for all of us at Intridea, and especially to those that knew him best:
But Zig was woven into our team just as easily as the rest of the members. His highpitched, staccato laugh kept the mood light even while he was constantly pushing us to move through our workload and keeping us on task. I guess that?s probably because Zig stayed up until midnight for our meetings, every day of the week. He never complained, and never expected anyone else to do it – he just did it. But I can?t blame him for keeping us focused when the meetings got a bit silly.
Zig loved software, and he loved working on a team. I know that because when we did code reviews, he started pushing me for more. He was trying to improve and develop his own talent. He very clearly loved his job and the act of learning – who else would bug me to give him more code reviews at 1 in the morning?
He was funny too. He had more personality than the rest of us. He was 25% of our team and made up well over 25% of our team’s personality. Having Zig taken from us is very difficult. And he always looked forward to being outside – every Monday he would announce “it was great weekend.”
It’s hard to capture his essence in words. But I know that I’ll miss him. I already do.
Flip Sasser, Senior Engineer
Patti Chan, Interaction Designer
Dingding Ye, Software Architect
Jonathan Nelson, Product Manager
We’ll hold Zig close to our hearts, and commemorate him as we continually find new ways to give back to our community in his name. We also express our deepest sympathy to Zig’s family and his friends. We have lost a bright and generous soul, and we are reminded of how fleeting and precious life is.
May Zig find peace.