Good memories of my friend Braden Anderson

  • Meeting him and Valerie ten years ago in a little office in Provo. He was my first new friend after moving to Utah.
  • For ten years after: many, many discussions.
  • Going to OpenWest with him.
  • Him joining Instructure with me. In the office I could hear him from across the way coming, flopping with his sandals… in Winter.
  • Double dates. Restaurants. Card games. Civ 5. Speed typing!
  • Lunch at the Porcupine. Just me and him. Catching up. Talking life.
  • His relentless courtesy. He could have trained others to work in a queen’s palace.
  • His patient listening. Always listening. Always ready to hear. Available. There. Willing to talk. Ready.
  • Him politely enduring my endless litany of programming questions.
  • I advertised a programming party to some friends. He is the only one that showed up.
  • THESE are my sweetest memories with him: Running for 3-4 miles a few times a week and talking the ENTIRE time with him.
  • But it wouldn’t end. Deep discussions ensued across the shower stall walls of Dimple Dell Recreation Center.

Braden, I thought our conversations would continue for decades to come. I loved YOU, economics-loving atheist friend. I enjoyed having those conversations WITH YOU. YOU were an amazing human being. I am crushed and devastated. I HATE death and I want you back. And you were WRONG about life not having any intrinsic value, because YOU had it.

More memories of Braden:

  • Him introducing me to BYU’s 100 Hour Board. Often the topic of our conversation at Proton Communications.
  • Late-night speed typing contests with him and his wife.
  • The dude loved Scrolls and Minecraft.
  • Civ 5. Dude logged 209 hours on it.
  • A vocabulary for exclamation: Indubitably! Excellent! Breathtaking! Outstanding! Fascinating!
  • Double-date to an Ethiopian restaurant. And quaint little restaurants downtown.
  • I accidentally asked his wife if she was pregnant once while in the act of telling the story of accidentally asking a cashier if she was pregnant.
  • Really hard to offend.
  • He loved to quote
  • Him and his wife were quirky nerds and were made for each other.
  • His kids are sweet and gentle, a reflection of Braden’s personality. 
  • His haircut experiments. From full head, to monk, to bald.

He was leaving Remedy and got an offer at Lendio. I had recently joined Instructure. I convinced him to apply here before he took the position. He BCC’d me his e-mail to Lendio:

“To be frank, the main obstacle at this point is that Aaron Shafovaloff decided to go with Instructure. I would be excited to work with Aaron again, so I would have a hard time accepting an offer right now without at least meeting with Instructure.”

That meant a lot to me. He was my friend. And I miss him.

A coworker writes:

“Precisely…I just hear his voice ringing in my ear when i think of that word. I’d struggle to grasp and then put into words some developer concept, and when i finally explained it correctly, he’d quickly response in an upbeat voice…”PRECISELY”. That particular response always made me feel like I had it more together than I actually ever did.”