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It helps when dealing with someone to know a little about their background.
I grew up in St. Louis Park, Minnesota (a suburb of Minneapolis) where I attended Most Holy Trinity grade school, Benilde-St. Margaret's High School, and then the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology.
I was very fortunate in having excellent faculty at both grade and high school and got a lot of advanced classes. Both schools experimented with flexible scheduling of classes and alternate courses and I did very well with that.
At the UofM I was an undergraduate teaching assistant and eventually the head honcho computer lab consultant (yes, you can say you know me) in charge of the student accounts. I graduated (barely...) with a Bachelor of Computer Science degree and started at IBM the next week.
The "barely" part is a long story of bureaucratic silliness. The gist of the story is that I worked on a senior plan with the Computer Science Department's advisor that would ensure that I had fulfilled all requirements for graduation. The plan was approved by the departmental advisor, my faculty advisor, and the dean of IT. Well, the plan was hosed up and while I had more than fulfilled all requirements in all specific areas (in fact, I could have graduated from the Liberal Arts college BA CompSci program too) I was short on total number of credits. The UofM was very nice about this and informed me the week after commencement exercises and after I had accepted a job. I took two classes the first summer session, tested out of a Fortran language class, and took an independent study course (which admittedly was a ton of cool fun) and got enough credits to graduate. And yeah, it was partly my fault too and I learned my lesson to never trust others with stuf like this.
After college I started work as a computer programmer at IBM in Rochester, MN. I initially worked in the Programming Support department as a "mercenary" programmer. We did contract programming for other departments that needed some help for a while. I worked in many different areas including doing work on System/38 database systems, PL/S compilers, REXX execs & XEDIT macros galore, PC based disk drive testers, storage dump formatters, image scanners, simulators, PC Support, and Modula-2 compilers. It was both really fun and really scarey too. A lot of times I'd go to a new job not knowing exactly what they wanted and feeling totally lost for a few weeks. Most ended up being challenging and fun.
Back some years ago the two "mercenary" departments merged, changed names, and went wholly to doing compiler work. I mostly worked on the Modula-2 compilers for the first few years with some short stints helping out elsewhere.
I now mostly work on the C++ compiler front-end team fixing bugs and making enhancements. I also work on the IBM i XML ToolKit which is a port of the Apache Xerces and Xalan projects.
BTW, we are now called (dramatic pause) "Software Engineers" because it makes us sound more important and smarter than mere "computer programmers".
If you are inside IBM you can see my "work home page" here.
A few years after starting at IBM I married Lynn. We have a daughter and a son.
Our "elder" dog, Kaeko , is a Keeshond (that's pronounced like "kayz hawnd", say it right!). He's a great watch dog and quite protective of the family and our home. Kaeko's favorite passtimes are being petted and chasing rabbits.
Our younger dog, Spirit, is also a Keeshond. She's a little timid about people but is gung ho about everything she does. Perhaps a little TOO gung ho as she keeps injuring herself by jumping a bit too far, running a bit too fast, ...
Both our current dogs are rescue dogs that we adopted from Keeshond rescue groups. Kaeko was a stray and Spirit was from a failed puppy mill. We're lucky to have such great dogs that others didn't want and abused.
We had two other dogs before our current pair, Arwen and Misty . Arwen (an American Eskimo) died after a struggle with cancer in the fall of 1999. Misty, our very first dog, died in 1998. She was also a Keeshond. We greatly miss them both.
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