A bot sent me a pull request that removes an ACL entry of ok e of my former teammates L which, the bot claims, becomes invalid. He left the company says the PR.

Not hearing a good bye is fine as we weren’t friends but were just peers, but getting notified by a bot never feels great. I just threw the PR away and close the tab.

L was an industry veteran. One day he told me that his first job was programming on a PDP-11, the computer UNIX was invented. I was so excited to hear that and asked him if he programmed in C. The answer was no. “It was too early.” said him – It was obvious in retrospect. There were many other stories like this, many of which I forgot unfortunately. This particular one still sticks to my mind and shines like a gem.

L probably retired from his long career. Thinking about that gives me a moment of warm feeling – Retiring in Silicon Valley! It is such an accomplishment.

L and his peers came to the company through an acquisition, and their culture was very different from the one of the acquirer; They were always talking about politics at lunch (and they were Republicans), they were loud, they occasionally used F and S words. Still they were more tight-knit than any other teams I have experienced here.

L was rough even among the peers. Sometimes it made him hard or unpleasant to work with.

L grew up in Kansas, got his education on the east coast (MIT!) and worked in a government related job, then road-tripped to California to start a new one. He had stories and characters. And I loved them, even though I was occasionally annoyed by his behaviors. He was rough, like his stories.

It felt like America. A different version from mine, which is a variation of Bay Area stereotype – Asian dense, financially stable, gentle but transactional. I like my version, but I also preach the version I briefly witnessed.