Apple Engineer’s Bittersweet Departure Sums Up What Makes Us Great


Apple’s insistence on secrecy has many unintended consequences: Mac fans are hard to please, rumor sites do their best to steal information about unannounced products, and, most interestingly, it gets easy to forget that Apple is a company made up of real people with feelings and lives. That’s why this spectacular farewell to Cupertino written by Buzz Andersen, formerly the author of shareware app Podworks and for four years an Apple software engineer, hits me square in the left ventricle. There is love and life in Cupertino, folks:

Like the Macintosh team of old, I started out at Apple as a young engineer willing to subordinate my life (for a time) to something I was passionate about. When I left my first position at Apple (in OS X Integration) for a real engineering job in Pro Apps, I was eager to make the features I was assigned the best they could be, even if it meant putting in difficult hours to get them done on schedule. So I put in the hours. I worked evenings and weekends. I worked while I was ill. Even when I ended up laid up at home in the throes of what turned out to be mononucleosis (a condition, for those who haven’t had the pleasure, that lends itself more to constant unconsciousness than constant concentration), I sat in bed fixing bugs. And little by little, I burnt myself out.

<sniff>No, no, go on, Buzz. I’m not crying. It’s just something in my eye, that’s all.</sniff> That just killed me. Maybe I’ll see you on the other side, man. When the fighting’s through.
Apple: A Romance – Buzz Andersen
Via Digg.

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About the author

Pete Mortensen

Pete Mortensen is a design strategist for consulting firm Jump Associates and the co-author of Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy, a book and blog that are significantly more interesting than you might initially think. Pete's particular Apple avocations are both around design--interface and industrial. Follow him on Twitter!

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