For someone doing front end work it's pretty likely they'll stumble upon the works of people like Paul Irish at some point or another. These people are involved in virtually every tool we use every day. These are the people trying to teach us "regular developers" how the web works. And what many don't realize - metaphorically speaking they live just around the corner. They're people like you and me, only prominent.
Until recently I thought @paul_irish and all these other stars of web development live in their own universe. The universe of creating awesome tutorials, discussing current technologies, teaching you how stuff works. But all that teaching is done from their impenetrable universe. I guess I was thinking they couldn't have the time to talk to everyone. I never thought of them being arrogant. I thought of them being occupied all the time.
Turns out I was wrong. Whenever I asked Paul a question I got an answer. Sure, he might've deferred some questions to someone else, but hey, I got my answers. My world was shattered. A world I can interact with people teaching and helping thousands of other developers every day. Wow.
In a discussion with @derSchepp a couple of weeks ago I was pointed to a Google+ post in which Paul mentioned a German web development podcast I had been a guest in recently. I replied "privately" to that post »I heard +Paul Irish is going to learn himself some German now :) </rumors>«. Paul then answered that he might just as well, since his brother was living in Stuttgart anyways.
The other week Paul mentioned his Stuttgart affiliation again. I couldn't resist to tell Paul to inform us when he'd be visiting his brother again. I actually did want to meet this guy and a two hour drive to Stuttgart seemed managable. Paul said he would. drublic et al made a fuss out of it, trying to get @smashingmag involved as well. The conversation (read: little fan boys drooling all over the place) died down.
At this point you're probably asking yourself what this post is all about, right? Well, I was trying to convey they joy I felt when I realized my blathering turned into something tangible. And what should you take home from this is quite simple: just talk to the guys, don't be shy. They'll respond if they have the time. They're human. They're here to help.
Update (31. Dec 2011)
After the Meetup, we recorded a little (~40 Minutes) discussion between Paul Irish (Google), Christian Heilman (Mozilla), Vitali Friedmann (Smashing Magazine), Kahlil and me.
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