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The Thinker's Spot

Prepare to think differently...

24 December
Hmmm....well, I'm a computer software engineer. I write programs. More accurately though, I'm generally speaking a problem solver. Not just at work, but in life, my most fun thing to do is to solve various problems.

When I was a kid, it was mechanical engineering type problems. When I was about 11 years old, I totally disassembled my father's lawn mower. By the time I was 12, I was able to not only disassemble motors, but to put them back together again. I was also reading books on proper design of hydraulic valve trains for diesel motors about this time (ok, I didn't understand half of what I read, but I was making the effort to read it).

As I got a little older, I started working with my parent's construction company pretty regularly. I would spend the school year in school, and the entire summer working construction.

I also spent a lot of time in high school doing speech and debate tournaments. I did Lincoln-Douglas debate (1 on 1) and extemporaneous speaking (the give you a topic and you have 30 minutes to prepare an 8 minute speech on that topic).

Once I got out of high school, I went to my local university (Southwest Missouri State University, SMSU) for a Computer Science degree. I also got married during spring break of my sophomore year at college. Once I was married, I finished out my current semester and then dropped out so I could get a job and pay for us to survive. I went to work for my parent's construction company full time and forgot about computers, for a while anyway.

After a couple years in construction, and after doing a job with the US Army Corps of Engineers, I no longer had the stomach for construction. So, with a reference from the former head of the computer science department at SMSU, I got a job as a computer tech at a local network computer company in my home town. I worked there for 2 years + a bit, then got a job offer to go to work for a local ISP as a system administrator on their linux based systems.

At the time, linux was still relatively young and new, and I happened to have been playing with it for a while. I worked there for about 3 years, and in the process taught myself how to do device driver development in the linux kernel (I became the owner of the aic7xxx driver in the linux kernel). That got my name out in the linux community and caused Red Hat to make me a job offer.

I took the job at Red Hat, moved from Springfield, Missouri to Cary, North Carolina, and have now been there for over 4 years.

Anyway, that's my story as far as what I've done and where I've been through my life. That doesn't cover all the other aspects of my life, so you can read my journal to see more of that if you like ;-)


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