Bazel Blog

Remembering Jon Gerrish

Remembering Jon Gerrish

Like many others, I was shocked, then deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of Jon Gerrish and his family while hiking this August. I first met Jon when he was a software engineer at Google, working on the Robolectric testing framework for Android. I was managing the team working on Bazel (and still do), and Jon had approached us to help integrate Robolectric testing into the Android build/test workflow at Google. Many tool developers were content to leave the "last mile" of tool integration with the build/test process to others, but Jon was insistent on collaborating directly with the Bazel team to ensure the smoothest possible development and testing experience. His passion for developer productivity and code quality was inspiring. He was also a joy to work with. While he was intense and detail-oriented about important technical matters, he was unfailingly respectful and congenial in his interactions with everyone.

Even though he was a Googler at the time, I consider Jon to be one of the earliest contributors to Bazel's open rules ecosystem, since he helped us improve the plugability and extensibility of Bazel's Android rules framework, as well as rule development generally. In addition to working on Robolectric, Jon contributed to a number of other Android development tools at Google and their integration with Blaze. And after leaving Google, Jon continued to contribute to Bazel's Android development rules and framework through numerous open source contributions.

It's heartbreaking to lose a member of the Bazel family, particularly one who was so generous to the project and its users. But I know that Jon's joyous spirit will continue to inspire those on the Bazel team who were lucky to have worked with him.

John Field, on behalf of the Bazel Team