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July 24, 2023

In memory of Pim Hofman

Less than a week ago, I was informed that Pim Hofman had passed away on Saturday, July 15th 2023. It was sudden, a shock. And now that his passing away is out in the open, I wanted to publish my own memorial, to share with you how I experienced Pim. I'm definitely going to miss him.

First, a bit of history

I met up with Pim a long time ago, during a Magento 2 training I gave at Jeroen Gerrits (somewhere in 2017 I guess), where Pim started working as a junior Magento developer. He immediately struck me as a bright mind that was able to pick up on complex topics quickly. Somebody with a career ahead of him. After this, I lost sight of him for years, us being in different parts of the Magento ecosystem.

Working together with him on the Shopware front

But we met up with each other again, once we both expanded our horizons with Shopware. On my side, I started doing Shopware training. On his side, he was diving into Shopware as well, becoming increasingly active on social media by spreading the good word. For instance, he realized that lots of agencies were struggling with projects because they did not setup things like deployment and testing properly yet. He spotted an important problem and he caught the interest of many.

I was one of them. So, after Pim also joined Shopware sessions for a Solution Specialist exam, I approached him to see how we could join forces. At first (somewhere in 2022), the conversations were mainly to get to know each other. And after some time, we also elaborated on his steps to become an independent freelancer. But step by step, we realized that he might do a good job as well as a teacher.

The Shopware Academy

On my side, I had a couple of other struggles, that led me to start a new concept in 2023 (this year): A Magento Academy. During this academy, Pim and I (and Wouter Dieters) started to talk about the option for him to slowly grow into the role of a Shopware teacher. In June, only a bit more than a month ago, we worked together 4 weeks on a row: Me as the organizer and the teacher of a Shopware Academy, him as a co-teacher, watching and learning the tricks of the trade.

During this time, I really got to know him. And since the Shopware Academy was supposed to be the first of many academies still to come, my business plans changed, because of his availability and eagerness to pick up on this opportunity.

Becoming a member of the Shopware United board

His rising star became even brighter, when Shopware United asked him to fulfill a position in the board. He asked me whether he should do that. And I said he damn well should grab this chance. The first steps were taken to bring him into his new role.

It seems strange that all of this only happened weeks ago, with so many promising things, while now Pim is no longer here.

Chatting during the MageUnconference

Last week I put together the MageUnconference Netherlands. I asked a few people, including Pim, to help me out during the conference days itself. Unfortunately, he needed to withdraw as a team member, but he was still able to make it on Thursday (the first unconf day). I only had a brief time chatting with him and I was too busy to go deep. Two days later I learned that he passed away, it broke my heart.

I do know that many others met up with him during that unconference day and that because of this, his sudden passing will be a shock to many. Let's remain in touch so we can share our grief.

He will be missed

Pim has left the building. This upcoming summer I will slowly need to get used to that idea and wrap my head around this. I had tears, I dried my tears to take some practical steps in his name, I had tears again - I guess I need some rest first. But I do already know this: I'm going to miss you, man!

Posted on July 24, 2023

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