Sunday, July 31, 2005

Bob Congdon

This is my farewell toast to my friend Bob Congdon who recently resigned from
IBM and is heading to Seattle to work of Microsoft.

I once heard someone describe Bob as ‘scary smart’ and that’s true, Bob is way
smarter than the average person. But, the world is full of smart people and
that’s not what really differentiates Bob. What makes Bob better than all the
rest is he makes everyone he works with better. Bob never uses his intellect to
hammer down co-workers or put himself on a pedestal; quite the opposite. Bob listens to
ideas from the team and steers team discussions like a conductor steers an orchestra.
The end result is a team that produces better product and everyone feels like a contributor.

I’ve also heard Bob described as a ‘man of few words and of many’. Bob can cut to the core
of a topic like a precision drill or meander around a topic like a lazy river. This later
tendency has proven most amusing over the years. I’ve worked on and off with Bob for around
5 years and over that time we built up a friendship around some core shared interests. We
share a love of programming languages, development methodologies, movies and of course blogging.
I cannot count the number of lunch table conversations we’ve had on those topics where Bob has
barely let me get a word in edge wise.

In summation, let me state this emphatically, If I had to pick the best engineer I’ve ever worked
with, it would be Bob. He’s brilliant, a great co-worker and just a nice guy. Good luck Bob,
keep in touch and keep on blogging.

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