Barry "Prof Barry" Dwolatzky, April 29, 1952-May 16, 2023
My friend Barry died this week. We had been trying to set up a meeting to arrange a learning event in South Africa when I got a message from his wife Rina that he was in hospital. I told him I looked forward to when he was well & we could talk.
Three of my many Prof Barry memories:
Listening to stories of fighting apartheid during my first visit to SA in 2005. Everyone had their stories to tell. Barry didn’t say much but he smiled a lot. Now I know why (read Coded History!).
Kicking rat carcasses out of the way while touring derelict buildings near Wits University. Barry described the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct that only he could see. By then I knew him well enough that I wouldn’t have bet against his vision, rats or no.
Last time we were together—walking near his house. We talked about getting older in tech, education & the promise of the next generation, & the social impact of technology. We ran across friends of his in the park (no surprise) & downed a couple of whiskies. Got hot half way through & ate a popsicle.
Barry lived his life by principle. He felt a responsibility to non-white South Africans & put his life on the line to support them. He felt a responsibility to the tech world of Africa, Cairo to Cape Town, & worked to educate everyone on the continent. He loved the work of programming & kept geeking.
Barry backed his principles up with effort. His effort has now ceased. Because he worked from principle, though, that effort continues in the work of students & grand-students & great-grand-students. Grand Geek, indeed.