Remember: Be More Like Sven
What I can remember is, that I never met a nicer, calmer, friendlier, kinder, more patient, more helpful, more attentive outgoing introvert then Sven. Always helpful, always willing to explain stuff to you but never pushy, never loud. And always with a smile. And a big heart. How big a heart for a such a quiet, inconspicuous person, it took me a few years to figure out.
Fast forward to 2009. Coming out of a dark period in my life, I am attending „26C3 - Here Be Dragons”, my first congress (at almost 40). In Berlin. With basically no money, basically knowing no one there.
But Sven somehow (Twitter?) got wind of this and invited me to his pre-Congress dinner, which he organized for a group of 30-50(?) congress noobs in a local restaurant. Within minutes he had us all talking to each other. But even better, after some time, Sven started to move people around. „You two have talked enough, I am moving him/her over there”. And within seconds, you had a new person to talk to. And that happened several times over the evening. First time attendee jitters gone, I had an awesome event, and several new friends, and and evening I will never forget, thanks to Sven.
Same thing at the Linuxtage Graz, where he organized an after-event brunch on Sundays for several years. Over the course of several hours people from the event, from the community or just friends of friends dropped by with their families and joined the crowd that followed Svens call. Since I got wind of this, I never left the Linuxtage Graz on Saturday. These were so cool, relaxed, sweet, funny, non-techie techie meetups that they will always stay in my memory.
And I am still in awe about his way to „argue” and „agree to disagree” in discussions. He was quiet, but passionate. And he had arguments. Oh boy, had he arguments. But I can’t remember, that he ever got loud or impatient. And you always went away from a discussion with him with more knowledge and the feeling you made progress, even if you disagreed with him.
Sven will be missed on so many levels but he will also be remembered by a lot of people, thanks to his big heart and the contributions he made to all our .vimrc files.
So, especially as a memo to self, let’s try to be a little bit more like Sven.
- Mitch Altman on Sven over at facebook.
- Vim 9 will be dedicated to Sven
- Vim-Versteher und Kommandozeilenerklärer: Sven Guckes ist tot
- Sven Guckes verstorben
- Sven Guckes Has Died | Hacker News
P.S.: This text was of course written in vim with a .vimrc that is at least 50% „influenced” by Sven.