On May 26th, now a few days ago, the world stood still for a moment for me. When I read that Joel passed away, I didn't know how to deal with it. If it's already hard for me, what about his family and the APEX team... it was a storm in the whole Oracle APEX community, and all of us were shocked and wish his close family and friends the most support.
It just hurts as Joel was such an amazing person, both on a personal level and professionally. I don't know anybody else who's so unselfish, understanding, and approachable as Joel. He was a great person all-around.
Joel was employee number 1 of Mike Hichwa, and they both created and supported APEX from day 1.
The moment I saw APEX (HTMLDB) it was love at first sight. I became passionate about this great Low Code Development Tool! When I wrote the World Cup Challenge in 2006, to promote what you could do with Oracle APEX, Joel was one of the first to reply to my blog post.
Later on that year I followed his session at Oracle Open World "Building Real-World Solutions with Oracle Application Express"
That Oracle Open World was legendary, as we held the first-ever Oracle APEX Meetup
I reread that post, and already back then I wrote: "One thing is sure: Michael Hichwa and Joel Kallman really want to support us!"
In 2014, after a difficult time for me, I had a really nice chat with Joel. He told me he would pray for me and I will never forget his support.
I appreciate Joel tremendously both on a personal as professional level. He helped so many people, including me. Did you know that Joel, single handedly installed APEX Office Print at Oracle in 2016? He supported us in many ways, I can not thank him enough.
Joel was not only a great coder and manager, but he was also a genius in marketing and community building. In 2015 he launched "LetsWreckThisTogether", together with the community we would make a change in the adoption of Oracle APEX. Joel frequently gave the keynote speech at APEX World. Here Joel went with attendees that won a prize at APEX World on a boat trip.