By now, many of you will have heard that Ron Liechty (Nokia Ron) is leaving Nokia Developer to enjoy a well-earned retirement. I’ve created this blog as a place where we can share anecdotes about our experiences with working with Ron, and thank him for his dedicated stewardship of our community.
It’s my blog, so I get to go first. I’ll be brief!
I guess I should say up front that I’ve still not actually met Ron in person, although I do know he looks a bit like a pirate on a motorcycle (images below for your viewing pleasure). That feels very odd with someone I’ve worked closely with for 2 years and come to respect and value.
I first became “aware” of Ron in 2006. He seemed to be everywhere on the forums – providing fast and concise answers on almost any topic. While his technical responses were excellent, what set him apart for me was how diplomatic, respectful and patient he was in all circumstances (I was a technical support team leader at the time, and let me tell you, this is not always easy!)
When I joined Nokia to share community management responsibility for the wiki I was a little nervous about working with Ron. Firstly he was a legend in the community, with a reputation a mile high – how could I make my mark? Also, I know how hard it is to share responsibility for a community you’ve built with people you don’t yet trust. I shouldn’t have worried – he was very welcoming and helped mentor me through “working in Nokia”.
Things aren’t going to fall apart now he is going – the moderators and champions he’s recruited will still be working as hard with the community as ever; and of course Ron’s done a thorough job handing over his responsibilities. But over the last 2 years we’ve become a really effective team, and that is what I will miss most – sharing the experience of working with this excellent community with him, and being able to easily get his advice and insight.
Thanks Ron for everything. I hope you really enjoy your retirement.