I’m not the sort of person that has personal heroes. That’s what I thought before last night.
My story is similar to many of those in this community of my generation: I learnt to program on some iteration of the Apple ][ by typing in BASIC programs from books and magazines (mostly games. I wanted to play games and that was one of the few avenues available to me). I followed my love of software (though I spent much of the nineties on OS/2 and Windows NT) until eventually coming back to the Mac when Apple bought NeXT and Steve re-entered the fold. Steven Frank, Gus Mueller and many others have already told the story I’d have told of how I became enthralled with what I do. As time progressed I moved to writing first Macintosh and then iPhone software. Steve even used software I’d worked on during a demonstration at a WWDC. I’ve friends who have met him, I’ve friends who have worked with him, I’ve friends who have spent far too much time sitting outside his office while he picked his favourite desktop picture. There are a million humanizing stories about Steve Jobs that have yet to be told but they’re for those who knew him to share.
When I heard that Steve Jobs had died one of my first thoughts was, “Who do I work to impress now?”
That’s when I realized I’d had a hero figure all this time.