Hey everyone, I jumped on here to make sure you guys had heard the terrible news, as I know Dale was very involved with this community and he would've wanted you to know. I'd like to share a more real life side to Dale and some stories, if anything so you guys can get a better idea of what he was like in person, if you want, even though most of them are profession-related.
I knew Dale irl and worked with him in the same department at my first IT job, where he was more of a senior level guy and I was the young gun back in 2005. Dale was a mentor to me, especially my first year since the job entailed traveling to client sites on a weekly basis. He taught me how to develop in the toolkit for the product, and taught me how to travel for business, too.
Dale loved working in IT. Like many of us in the same field, he never cared for the politics behind it, and was frustrated when his concerns for things were tossed away or overlooked. Still, he loved interacting with the business to architect and develop something that worked well, as it's very rewarding. He was really great with vbscript and could pound out pages of it on demand.
It was really awesome traveling with him as we'd always joke around. We'd point out rookie travelers or people who were really annoying or doing things to slow the movement of the airport down, and joke about how they needed to "start over". Like people who would walk down a walking area in the middle of the concourse and just stop right in front of 50 people who then had to stop and go around them.
Dale also loved caffeine. When we were traveling to north Philly for work, we'd stop and get Starbucks every morning, and Dale had his own thermos and backup thermos that he'd use. A big fan of the energy drinks that came out too, and was always trying to latest one. I traveled with him most around 2005, and the latest energy drink was all the rage back then.
Dale was a travel mentor to me because he traveled a lot. He was a travel warrior when I met him, although the last 3-4 years travel for our department was all but eliminated (and welcomed). He was really able to show me the ropes. He talked about how one year he was a Platinum member for Marriott, and that his final report for the year showed he stayed in a Marriott for over 300 nights. Because of his level of membership through Marriott Rewards, he was able to take vacations for free, or at least the hotel part of it. He also one time exercised the ability to walk up to a Marriott that was completely booked, ask for a room, and they had to move someone out of the hotel so he or his family could stay there. I believe you can still do this with Marriott, and I've always found this to be a cool story.
Since Dale worked in IT for almost all of his life, he was able to share those really old IT stories of having huge mainframes, or machines that you fed punch cards into to program it. He used his benchmarking skills in his professional career as well, checking on a regular basis to see if a snippet of code ran too long. If it did, he made sure it got re-written so it was smooth sailing.
After the travel warrior days for our department were over, our company moved to another office, and I was really happy when Dale was put close to me and we were in our own closed off area with a couple of other folks on our team that all were really cool. We had a great time in there, and we were great at getting work done as well as having fun.
Dale introduced me to [email protected], and got me into installing it on my work laptop as well as my home pc. I ran stuff under his account to try and help him move up the leaderboards, although he had better systems running at his house. He joked that in the winter the room that had all his machines didn't need heating because the heat off the boxes was more than enough.
With me being an avid FPS gamer, and Dale being well versed in hardware, I would always take my latest PC builds to him before buying to see if I was doing everything right. He almost always had better suggestions for me and was extremely helpful. We'd regularly talk about where hardware was going in the future and what ran better and stuff. I'm a database guy, but Dale taught me everything I know about hardware for the most part. When I changed jobs, we grew apart a little, but Dale would always hit me up when I'd visit the old office and we'd shoot the shit for a little while like old times. Whenever he saw my wife(she works there as well), he'd always ask about me. I even used Dale as a reference to get my current position.
Dale was always a great father and loved his kids, and always talked about them and had the latest pictures. I believe his daughters are still teenagers, and his son is in college, so I can't imagine what they are going through.
Naturally with all this said, I will really miss him and so will many others. Dale was a very smart guy who was always willing to help, was a mentor to me in my early days of my career, and a good friend.