Former F5 Networks and Isilon technology executive Brett Helsel passes away at the age of 54

Brett Helsel, who played a key role in shaping the Seattle technology community through senior engineering roles at F5 Networks and Isilon Systems, died last week after suffering a cardiac arrest while paddle boarding on Lake Washington. He was 54. Three teenage girls recovered Helsel from the water, administered CPR and called 911. Helsel was… Read More

Mitch Hill

Mitch Hill, 1958-2013: Former Avanade and Opscode CEO was a fierce competitor who led with quiet confidence

Mitch Hill, the former CEO of Avanade and Opscode, passed away Wednesday after a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 55. A fierce competitor who earned a black belt in karate and raced motorcycles as a kid, Hill participated in bicycling events and water sports throughout the Northwest. In fact, it was that competitive spirit… Read More

Ben Taskar

UW computer science professor Ben Taskar passes away at 36

Ben Taskar, a rising star in the University of Washington’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering, passed away on Sunday after an unexpected and sudden illness. He was 36. The passing of Taskar, an expert in machine learning, computational linguistics and computer vision who arrived at the UW earlier this year, left colleagues and friends grief-stricken. “Ben… Read More


Kim Thompson, 1956-2013: Fantagraphics co-publisher helped shape the comic book industry

Kim Thompson, the pioneering comics publisher who along with Gary Groth helped define the comics book industry though their Fantagraphics publishing house, has died of lung cancer at the age of 56. “Kim leaves an enormous legacy behind him,” said Groth, who worked alongside Thompson for 36 years. “Not just all the European graphic novels… Read More

Bill Hill

Remembering Bill Hill: The most important operating system is Homo Sapiens 1.0

“I always talk about this to folks at Microsoft, especially to developers. What’s the most important operating system you’ll write applications for? Ain’t Windows, or the Macintosh, or Linux. It’s Homo Sapiens Version 1.0. It shipped about a hundred thousand years ago. There’s no upgrade in sight. But it’s the one that runs everything.” That… Read More

Steve Lacey

Google engineer Steve Lacey victim of Kirkland car wreck

Google engineer Steve Lacey, 43, a veteran of the Seattle region’s tech community who worked for more than a decade at Microsoft, died Sunday in a car crash in Kirkland. KING 5 News reports that that Lacey was the victim of a road rage incident in which he hadn’t been involved. A widely respected software engineer… Read More