I loved his train porn

I didn’t know Igal that well, but I always was happy to see him. He brought smiles and laughter wherever he went. I am a fan of his photography and his Train Porn presentations were always the highlight of any Bar Camp.

I wanted to get to know him better. He had lots of friends and I will miss him.

a human bridge

Moving to Portland was a difficult adjustment. After the initial positive impression and slowly working my way into the tech scene, I felt a strange kind of culture shock — despite growing up in the US, my Latin@ heritage shaped my sensibilities. I had a kind of friction that finally dissipated when I chatted with Igal about my problems. When he told me he felt the same way I did before, I didn’t feel like such an outsider. He helped me attempt to connect to others.
Every time I’ve seen him, he always made me feel like I belonged wherever I was. His cheerful attitude towards me made my day ten times better. I wish I had spent more time with him.

A quality mentor

I don’t remember when I first met Igal, but I’m pretty sure it was at one of my first PDXRuby meetups shortly after I moved here in 2008. It was obvious that Igal was a backbone of the group, and was always working on something interesting besides. When I got a chance to work with him and Markus at Puppet in 2010 I was thrilled.

Besides the tireless work he did on his own, Igal was always working to teach and help bring others up to speed, something that I wish more developers did. Igal would review code not just to see if it worked, but also offer suggestions on ways to do it better and make it easier to read. I occasionally disagreed with him on style points, but more often appreciated the kind feedback and sharing of knowledge.

The time I worked with him directly was too short since he ended up moving on after a few months to other projects, but I always assumed I’d end up working with him again. He was impossible to avoid in the developer community, not that I can imagine why you’d want to avoid him.

I have a fond memory of one of the few events I was at with him where he wasn’t helping organize somehow. It was just an office party for a local tech company and they had a mechanical bull and other games. A few of us took turns riding the bull and I remember lgal laughing heartily at our antics, all while photographing our embarrassing falls.

I always wanted to go to a heavy metal concert with him. Don’t know why, but I was always surprised by his musical tastes, and couldn’t really imagine him in a mosh pit.

I’m sad I won’t have the chance to mosh with him, work him again, learn from his mentorship, see his photos of events, benefit from his community organizing efforts, or laugh with him again. I miss him already.

Don’t know what to say

I don’t even remember when I met Igal; seems like he was there forever. I talked with him all the time, and enjoyed it so much. The longest conversation we had was after I dropped him off at his apartment a few years back; we sat in my car and talked so long it killed my battery. Don’t remember even what we said, but I clearly remember thinking how great it was to hang with such a great person. I will remember Igal not only for the tireless work he did to make the lives of me and others in town happier, but also just for being a person who made me happy every time I found him in a room.

Nash Dryg Ugal: (Russian to English): Our friend Igal

My first memory of Igal is from CubeSpace: somehow we realized we both speak Russian, so from then on, every time I saw Igal at tech events, we always reconnected through a shared interest for the language. Sometimes a brief hello (здравствуйте), other times pretending to talk about the others nearby in dark sarcastic Russian phrases; always a pleasure. A crew of us: Ben Foote, Carissa Wodehouse, Reid Beels, Igal, and myself rode the new Green line Max when it was launched. Igal was a fixture in the open source tech community, a genuinely nice person, wicked smart, and a community builder, lifting up others around him. So much efforts to create and maintain community through Calagator, Ignite Portland, BarCamp, and many many more. I will miss our friend and colleague: мир праху его. Благодарю вас за все, что вы дали нам, Igal.

Ia! Ia! Igal!

Igal was always there to enjoy an HP Lovecraft reference with me or joke about upsetting the Elder Gods with a particular piece of code.

Was Igal actually Nyarlathotep, the Planet Eater? Or a cousin of the Nameless mist? We may never know.

He surely had superhuman powers.

He made me a better person.

I can not remember when I first met Igal, though my earliest memories are from PDXCritique. It was a little group that was an outgrowth of an idea from my time at AI. See AI is a trade school, the goal of the department that I graduated from was to prepare you to be entry level staff at an ad/web agency. Because of this there was a lot of focus on meeting specs but little desire or time for a true critique. I often felt that this was a short coming from school and eventually I was part of a small group of three that decided to take on the task of starting the group. CubeSpace at the time was the hub of the community and was where we decided to have our meetings too. I do not remember if Igal was there on night one but, as with many groups, he became a solid fixture in the group. Always willing to share an idea or two, always willing to speak up as needed.

From there he encouraged me to become more involved in the magic that was happening around us. I attended a sprint or two for Calagator, I started helping with OSB that first year. I soon learned that if you just follow Igal then he will show you the way to something wonderful. Be it conversations about code, photography, or any of the thousands of things that this wonderful man was passionate about.

I will miss his perspective, I will miss his ability to kindly direct you to what you really needed to be doing. He was a great force for good in my life and because of him I am who I am to day. I love you Igal, you made me a better person.

A huge void is left behind

I’m so very, very heartbroken about this. What a colossal loss to the Portland tech community… and well beyond. Igal always amazed me with the sheer volume of giving he was capable of. It was not just that he was an extraordinary giver, it was that he was not half-assed about any of it. He brought passion, commitment and professionalism to all his volunteer work. He gave us his all. He was a sweet, ever-smiling man, full of encouraging words and ready advice. He had a massive impact on the local tech scene and was one of the most welcoming to beginners you will ever find. The good he did has cascaded through the local tech community, and the local community, and well beyond… and we are much stronger for it. Igal was the snowball that turned into an avalanche for good and though he is gone the ripples of his good work will be felt for many years to come. Igal was assuredly a force for good in this world and he will be very, very sorely missed. Such a tragedy. Such a loss. Unthinkable.

It’s hard to find the words, but I blogged a longer tribute to Igal here: http://www.mmt.org/blog/rip-igal-koshevoy