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April 23

2019

Thanks, Joe

Joe

Video by Code & Supply

A couple of days ago I was struck by the very sad and unexpected news of Joe Armstrong’s early departure. Joe meant a lot to me personally and the Akka community at large, he has been a great inspiration and influence over the years, and I wanted to take some time to express my gratitude to him, both personally and on behalf of the Akka community.

Joe was a rare visionary, and his groundbreaking work on Erlang and general distributed systems design can be traced back to the early ’80s. He was way ahead of his time and it is not until the past 5-10 years that our industry at large has had to catch up with the architectural styles Joe has been promoting for decades—without “Let it Crash!”, location transparency, async messaging, immutability, declarative programming, and a vision of systems with millions of loosely coupled isolated processes/actors working together as a single cohesive system, there would be no Akka, Reactive, or modern distributed systems.

Apart from being technically brilliant, Joe was very generous and approachable, always fun to hang out with, highly energetic and curious (of people as much as tech), always smiling, with a joke, unpredictable wit, or rant up his sleeve, and always eager for a fun debate, whatever the topic.

Thanks for everything, Joe. We will miss you a lot.

—Jonas Bonér