On 26 January 2021, Martin Andert died.

I worked with Martin at Loco2 for 5ish years. He embodied the stereotypically punctual, well-organised German. He was an excellent software developer.

We’d speak only briefly and when necessary. That’s how we both liked to operate. It was only after becoming his manager that I saw a softer, more emotional Martin. Monthly one-to-one video calls would circumvent his defences and expose a real, fallible human. Not a relentless coding machine in pursuit of perfection (though he was a bit of that, too).

Martin didn’t mince his words. I recall a meeting between ourselves and a Product Manager at Loco2 where he was asked whether he’d complete a project given a disturbingly tight deadline. He’d smirk, “that depends, do you want it to be shit?”.

His appetite for no-nonsense, direct and efficient communication made working with (and certainly managing) Martin a breeze. On the odd occasion I might need to approach a difficult subject, I could feel him urging me toward a point, no matter how uncomfortable it might be.

Hearing of Martin’s sudden death was an excruciating punch to the gut. I felt paralyzed for the rest of the day. I’ve thought about him and the unceremonious here-now-not nature of his death almost daily since. And today especially, I really miss Martin.