A Tribute to the Coding Legend: Terry

Terrance Adjodha – Senior Programmer

In an era dominated by streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, where blockbuster movies are available at the touch of a button, it’s almost inevitable that you’ve indulged in the adventures of Spider-Man, Superman, or some other larger-than-life superhero. These tales, crafted by skilled writers, have a knack for transforming seemingly ordinary characters into legendary figures, such as Peter Parker and Clark Kent.

Yet, amidst the spotlight shining on these fictional heroes, their true identities as everyday individuals often remain hidden, their remarkable deeds going unrecognized. Little did many realize that right here in Saint Lucia, within the corridors of the National Insurance Corporation (NIC), dwelled our own unparalleled superhero – the inimitable Terry.

When Terry first stepped through the doors of the NIC, he never imagined his career would lead him down the path of programming. Starting humbly as a clerk, he dutifully carried out his tasks, unaware of the transformative journey that lay ahead. However, fate had other plans. A few years into his tenure, a pivotal moment emerged: to delve into the world of coding on the NIC’s newly implemented computerized system. From that point onward, Terry’s trajectory was set, and there was no turning back. 

Driven by an unyielding passion for programming, Terry embraced the solitary craft with monastic devotion. He moved with characteristic briskness, often seen navigating the corridors purposefully enroute to his next coding endeavor. Solitude was his preference – distraction a rarity as he remained utterly absorbed, deriving immense satisfaction from transforming human needs into digital solutions through elegant lines of code. What he may have forsaken in ordinary habit and routines, Terry made up for tenfold with his extraordinary abilities to systematize, optimize and innovate in the technological realm. For him, programming transcended vocation to become a higher calling that resonated through his very spirit.

But Terry was more than just a coding whiz. He was a friend, an unassuming genius, and a veritable encyclopedia of music trivia whose creativity seemed to know no bounds. His radio dial was perpetually tuned to the local KISS FM from the moment he arrived until departing the office each day. He had an innate knack for recalling every song and artist from the ’80s and ’90s that played. As a fellow radio aficionado, I frequently teased him, “Hey Terry, who sings that one?” Without fail, he returned the correct answer. 

Though we never heard him play, legend has it that he was a master guitarist. Terry’s talents extended well beyond coding and music – he was a gifted digital 3D artist who recently procured top gaming hardware to breathe life into his creative visions – an embodiment of insatiable curiosity across disciplines. 

Yet, amidst his technical brilliance, Terry remained refreshingly down-to-earth. He never sought the spotlight or embellished his achievements; instead, he focused on delivering results with honesty and integrity.

Terry despised exaggerations. If you were relaying a story involving him, you had better get your facts straight – or risk being corrected by Terry right there on the spot. Resolute honesty and objectivity were intrinsic to his character. As a shop steward, I could rely on Terry to provide a candid assessment of anything I shared with colleagues. His steadfast integrity was something I deeply admired and aspired to emulate. Terry’s principled nature and fidelity to truth were rare qualities that shaped us in the Information Technology Department.

In my role as shop steward, advocating for the rights of my colleagues, few accolades brought me more fulfillment than a simple note from Terry acknowledging, You usually make some clear/good points.” Though he qualified it with “some,” coming from a man of Terry’s discerning candor and few words, it may as well have been high praise emblazoned on the wall. Trust me, this was Terry’s version of an A+ endorsement of my efforts. I couldn’t help but smile, knowing his judicious compliment carried the weight of a formalized distinction.

But I digress.

Terry’s genius manifested an unparalleled legacy system through each keystroke. His ability to dissect complex problems and architect efficient coding solutions was extraordinary. Though his impact resonated across St. Lucia, he remained an unsung hero to most. To colleagues, Terry was the enigmatic mastermind behind sophisticated screens and reports that facilitated departmental operations. For beneficiaries of the NIC, past and present, he will forever be that anonymous savior – the man who conquered the most convoluted technical quandaries to ensure their payments arrived seamlessly. Undeniably the world’s preeminent PowerHouse 4GL programmer, Terry drove progress while meticulously safeguarding accuracy across hundreds of thousands of lines of precious code. His brilliance empowered an entire institution to fulfill its mission of service to the community.

Terry lived and breathed every aspect of the benefits system Information Technology platform at the heart of NIC.

His programming prowess proved invaluable during times of crisis as well. In what would be his last major project, the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the nation, leaving thousands of workers unexpectedly unemployed. Terry sprang into action, weaving code with remarkable speed and skill to enable those impacted to access over 60 million dollars in relief funds made available by the NIC. His systems served as the backbone that kept finances flowing to St. Lucians when they needed it most. Terry’s selfless efforts, working tirelessly behind the scenes, ensured our island community avoided even deeper hardship during those darkest of days.

I was in awe of his abilities, but even more so, I was grateful to have had a friend share his gift so selflessly for the greater good of our nation.

Terry, you deserve nothing less than a national award.

Today, as we honor Terry’s legacy, let us not only recognize his exceptional technical brilliance but also his profound kindness, humor, and steadfast commitment to enriching the essence of the organization NIC. 

Terry surpassed the confines of mere coding; he embodied a legend, a cherished national asset whose enduring impact will resonate for years to come.

And so, as we bid farewell to our dear friend Terry, let us remember that in the world of programming, a popular paradigm revolves around the logic ‘if this, then that.’ So, I leave you with this:

On behalf of your other colleagues from the Computer Department of the NIC—Keith—your mischievous co-conspirator, Sekhanda—your protégé who inspired the title for this piece, Joakim, Mervin, Macarius, Chad, and myself, we bid you farewell. Adiós maestro! Though your physical presence has departed, the enduring legacy of your being persists eternally.

Farewell Legend!


A Tribute To The Coding Legend: Terry

By: Jason Edgar