One of the downsides of organizing 360|events is that I meet and become friends with so many people. That’s not the downside actually, the downside is when bad things happen to those people. This is a few months late, because like so many connections we make at 360|iDev, many end up being primarily twitter friendships, and it’s hard sometimes to notice things.
Christopher Walker (@Yixinmke) came to 360|iDev San Jose 2010 because the welcome page had the word “shit” on it. I don’t remember the sentence, but when Chris was looking for an iOS conference to attend and read that sentence, he said he knew he’d enjoy the event because clearly it was organized by real people. That conversation really resonated with me, because that’s really a large part of why we do 360|events. Too many conferences are organized by publishers, marketing companies, etc. They’re faceless and certainly don’t take the time to get to know attendees, let alone hang out with them. I hate that.
Chris was a hoot, we hung out during the stragglers dinner on Wednesday night, that was the first time I had a real chance to talk to him. It was cool, his company did Microsoft tech, but was looking at other things too and sent him to 360|iDev. He was very nice, and he and Cory Smith (@smixx) were pretty much inseparable most of the conference.
Chris told me at dinner that one day he got to ebay and the parking lot was full, so he went to see ‘How to Train your Dragon’ and then came back, LOL. Great movie by the way. I finally saw it a while back. Good pick Chris.
After 360|iDev I didn’t talk to Chris online, beyond following his check-ins on twitter. Sadly following so many, i didn’t notice that his tweets and check-ins stopped on August 10th.
It wasn’t until months later, when Cory tweeted about his passing that I learned that Chris had been killed in a motorcycle accident. I especially feel terrible because I had wanted to reach out to Chris before Austin and make sure his company was sending him so we could hang out, and in the hubbub I totally forgot. Had I remembered I would have found out (maybe?) sooner.
I’ve put some videos at the bottom of this post, if you were at 360|iDev San Jose, I’m sure you’ll remember seeing Chris walking around, laughing. He played a mean rockband guitar too! I wish I had had a chance to get to know Chris better, to see what cool things he did with the iOS platform.
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Chris in the background in the yellow shirt