Remembering Malcolm Tredinnick
I flew home from the US yesterday and when I arrived in Sydney I got a message from my husband saying that Malcolm Tredinnick had died. According to this piece by Simon Dulhunty, he was found on Monday to died at home in Sydney, possibly after a seizure, while I was at PyCon 2013.
I’ve known Malcolm slightly since my first linux.conf.au in Sydney 2001. In late 2004 I interviewed for a job at CommSecure (since closed) where he was then working, having been a lead developer of and continuing to maintain and develop a real-time data delivery system for the Hong Kong stock exchange. (The eventual end of that contract was the reason CommSecure later closed.) He was also my boss for about half of 2005 until I left to begin my PhD in early 2006.
I still caught up with him at technical events, the last long conversation I remember with him was at PyCon AU 2011 where my husband Andrew and I had a very Malcolm conversation with Malcolm, which roved over the paperwork hassles of having no fixed address (Malcolm travelled a lot and went through periods where he housesat or lived in serviced apartments for a while), the Australasian chess community, and some gentle mutual trolling between him and Andrew over narrative testing.
What I will remember most about Malcolm is that he was a teacher at heart. I never personally had this relationship with him, but I knew several people at CommSecure and elsewhere who Malcolm had tutored or mentored in programming, often over a very long period of time. Elsewhere I know he had taught mathematics (long before I knew him, he very nearly completed a PhD in mathematics when his area suddenly became fashionable and about 50 years of work was done in 6 months by incoming mathematicians) and chess. I will also remember his dry and sadonic approach to nearly everything (for a very recent example, Malcolm gives useful parenting advice), combined with “really, how hard could it be?” used both straightforwardly and distinctly otherwise. Goodbye Malcolm.
If anyone knows of plans for a funeral or memorial service in Sydney, please let me know as I would like to attend. I’ll update this entry if I hear of anything.
Update: Ray Loyzaga is tweeting about tentative funeral plans for April 4th but says there is nothing firm yet. (Ray, the long-time founder-CEO of CommSecure, was a close friend of Malcolm’s.)
- Goodbye Malcolm by Jacob Kaplan-Moss on the Django blog
- Goodbye Malcolm (Tredinnick) on LWN, with comments
- Malcolm Tredinnick memorial on Storify
- Twitter, Google+, Flickr
- video and audio of him speaking are everywhere, see for example:
- linux.conf.au 2003: Using autoconf, automake and friends (audio only)
- linux.conf.au 2004: The GNOME Platform Libraries (audio only)
- PyCon AU 2011: Behaviour Driven Development
- linux.conf.au 2012: What is in a tiny Linux installation?
- PyCon Asia/Pacific 2012: Fun with Iterators and Generators, Maps of Imaginary Lands
- PyCon Philippines 2012: Maps of Imaginary Lands, Functional Programming in Python
- DjangoCon 2012: The Dungeon Master’s guide to Django’s ORM (“I’m Malcolm, you may have heard of me from projects such as… Django!”)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia.