Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Bob Lee, RIP

Amy Graff (Hacker News):

Bob Lee, 43, died after being found stabbed on the 400 block of Main Street in SoMa. Lee was chief product officer of MobileCoin[…]

Romain Dillet:

Before joining MobileCoin, Bob Lee worked at Google for the first few years of Android, focusing on core library development. He then joined Square, the payment company that later became Block, to develop its Android app. He became the company’s first CTO and also created Cash App.

Bob Lee, also known as ‘Crazy Bob,’ was an investor in tech startups as well.

Scott Perry:

goddamn, I was thinking of Bob last night as I wrote a ringbuffer for something. what a terrible loss

Dylan Field:

So sad to hear of @crazybob’s untimely passing. I first met him in summer 2006 — he didn’t care that I was only 14 and we talked tech / geeked out about programming. We remained connected over the years and he was an early supporter of Figma. It’s so hard to believe he is gone.


I want to draw attention to Bob Lee, a well-respected technologist and prototype hacker, always curious and sharing lots of interesting technical developments. He was a great role model for how Engineers should be respected in an executive capacity as he advanced his career from 'Software' to 'Product'. His efforts contributed to technology used by millions.


Please share your stories featuring Bob Lee, who I'm sure would like to be remembered for his contributions rather than as a victim of this unfortunate awful event.

Bryan Cantrill:

Bob very much deserves to be remembered as you described him: an engineer’s engineer. I first met him at Foo Camp in 2011, and we had a deeply enthralling conversation about building the Square reader. As it turns out, credit card swipes are (were?) fiendishly complicated! (I still tell others the advice that Bob gave me: for the best read, you want constant acceleration of your card -- not a fast swipe.) He showed me the tooling that he had built at Square to debug bad swipes; it was a role model for rigor in engineering and especially for the power of tooling.

Yishan Wong:

I met him when he was CTO of Square and I was consulting there - here is a write-up of some great programming that he did for a coding challenge.


He was not a high-flying celebrity CTO, he was a great engineer who was just happy to be able to solve problems and Square was lucky to have him.


Bob was a nice guy. We had an overlapping tenure at Google in the 2000s. He was one of the original authors of the Guice dependency injection framework. When I was earning Java readability at Google, I was fortunate to have had him assigned as a reviewer. Having the review work so smoothly alleviated a lot of the imposter syndrome I felt at the time. I felt like a million bucks afterwards. The compassion and humility he brought to the table made a world of difference.

See also: LinkedIn.

Update (2023-04-06): Wil Shipley:

He was just such a nice dude, and also so brilliant.

I once had a meeting with him at Square where I was showing off our barcode-reading tools and he showed me his magnetic-strip reading tools and his were WAYYYY better than mine.

See also: MobileCoin:

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