MacTech is running their annual voting process for the People’s Choice MacTech 25. This is basically an opportunity to recognize some of the important members of our technical community. While most of the world is more interested in the highest ranking members of the Macintosh community (people like Steve Jobs), we developers and technical types who live on the front-lines probably appreciate the actions of more day-to-day leaders. People whose projects or community presence helps us to do our jobs or appreciate the platform we work on.
Sooo… I’m encouraging anybody who hasn’t voted yet to do so, and to vote for people who influence you directly. I voted for three people from among the following names which I present merely as memory toggles for you. The problem here of course is I’m sure I’ll forget somebody. But at the very least I feel comfortable proposing any of these names as worthy recipients for an honor such as this. These names all strike me as being particularly appropriate this year. All of these people go out of their way to develop a personal relationship with the community on top of a professional relationship. Any three of them are deserving of your vote:
John Gruber. I probably don’t have to convince most of you that John is an influential part of our lives. Whether you read his content or not, his opinions push developers, users, and the press to reconsider their views on all things Mac. This past year was an especially influential year for Gruber, having dropped some serious food for thought in his HIG Is Dead speech at the C4 Conference.
Aaron Hillegass. Every year, Aaron’s Big Nerd Ranch “vacation” boot-camp for aspiring Cocoa developers churns out a new batch of programmers freshly-versed in the “right atittudes” to get started programming on the Mac. My belief is that more developers on the Mac will ultimately make all developers on the Mac more successful and happy. We’ve got a great community, and as new members are successfully indoctrinated into the group, our shared resources become larger and larger. I expect that as the years go by, more and more of the Mac developers you meet socially will have in their pedigree some kind of training from Aaron and the rest of the staff at Big Nerd Ranch.
Paul Kafasis. As CEO of Rogue Amoeba, Paul has had his hands full. But he still found time over the past year to write several thought-provoking commentaries on the Rogue Amoeba blog, prompting debate about terms like “Delicious Generation.” He also serves up repeated doses of “good indie software sense” in blog series such as Should I Exhibit At MacWorld. On a personal note, Paul’s advice to me has been invaluable as I’ve gotten to know him and tried to learn from his experiences in successfuly building Rogue Amoeba into a robust young business.
Leo Laporte.I grew up listening to Leo on SF Bay Area radio. At the time I was more into Amigas and Sun Workstations than Macs, but I still found Leo’s show fascinating. The fact that all these years later I’m still listening to him, and he’s still pushing the Mac, is pretty awesome. Leo’s This Week In Tech podcast is the most popular tech show online, and his empire continues to grow as he adds other podcasts, videocasts, and satellite radio to the collection. Most of Laporte’s shows are not Mac-focused, but he always has Mac in his mental repertoire, which no doubt leads many of his listeners to consider giving the Mac a shot. More Mac users equals more Mac customers. And that’s good for the developer world.
Merlin Mann. Merlin Mann tirelessly (OK, I’m sure he gets tired!) promotes the Mac as tool numero uno in the battle against productivity failures. Through his world-famous 43 Folders blog, he uses his playful writing style to remind the world that there are tricks and techniques to an organized life, and that the best ones require a Mac. Merlin’s influence on productivity software can be witnessed by the growing trend for “Getting Things Done” applications. As advisor to The Omni Group during the development of their “OmniFocus” GTD application, his opinions will no-doubt help establish some of the standards for all such software in the future. Merlin Mann is also an integral part of the Leo Laporte podcast MacBreak Weekly, the one show in Laporte’s empire which is dedicated to Mac and Mac alone.
Jonathan “Wolf” Rentzsch. Wolf has been personally influential to me for a few years now, as his work within the developer community on projects like mach_inject have made him well-known as a highly skilled Mac OS X developer and consultant. But this past year, Wolf turned the corner and became incredibly influential by launching a new Mac developer conference called C4. Even in its maiden year, the conference left attendees unanimously satisfied and eager to return for more fun and englightenment in the coming years. Wolf has been working hard on planning the 2nd C4, and I’m sure his influence will continue to grow as the conference becomes even more renowned.
Brent Simmons. What can I say, the man had a huge impact on me this year :) As the person who was instrumental in putting me on NewsGator’s radar as a potential buyer for MarsEdit, I am very grateful to him. He also deserves your vote because of the ways in which he helps to define the Macintosh user experience through his development of NetNewsWire, and through his participation in the developer/user communities.
Scott Stevenson. Scott Stevenson has long been a valuable resource in the Cocoa community in particular, serving up delicious tutorials on his Cocoa Dev Central site. He upped the ante recently by adding an editorialized take on the world of Cocoa blogging, in his Cocoa Blogs digest. Scott’s writing style combined with his passion for the Mac and an ability to spot quality are turning his content into the first-stop for quality Mac development information.