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Karl Wiegers

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About Me

A Nomadic Childhood

My father spent the first half of his career in the United States Air Force. I was born in Japan and we moved around a lot. We lived in California, Texas, Maine, Iowa, Italy, France, and an air force base in Idaho before I started eighth grade in Boise, Idaho, when my father retired from the Air Force.

I graduated from Boise High School, then received a BS in chemistry from Boise State College, followed by MS and PhD degrees in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Following a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor and a year of postdoctoral research at the University of Illinois, I went to work as a photographic research scientist at Eastman Kodak Company in snowy Rochester, New York. My wife, Chris, and I moved to not-snowy Portland, Oregon, in 2000.

From Chemistry to Computers

I've enjoyed programming computers since learning FORTRAN in college in 1970. I was an Atari hobbyist in the 1980s, and wrote the assembly language tutorial column for an Atari magazine for two years. I moved into software development full-time at Kodak in 1983 and worked there as a software developer, manager, quality engineer, and software process improvement specialist. I also began writing magazine articles and giving presentations about software development. In 1997, I launched my software development training and consulting company, Process Impact. I've written 7 books and a couple of hundred articles on computing, chemistry, and military history.

My first nontechnical book was a memoir of life lessons titled Pearls from Sand: How Small Encounters Lead to Powerful Lessons. From software to self-help? Maybe it's not that big a stretch.

Other Interests

Music   Like everybody else, I picked up the electric guitar when I was 12. Unlike a lot of people, I still play. In recent years I've enjoyed writing and recording a variety of songs at home, just for fun. I play Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, Taylor 314ce (acoustic), Rodriguez (classical), and Schecter (bass) guitars. I particularly enjoy classic rock, jazz, and Brazilian music. Yes, I already know I can't sing; thanks for noticing.

Military History   Growing up on Air Force bases, military history became one of my major reading interests. Visiting military museums, memorial ships, and battlefields is also fascinating. And if you see a serviceman in uniform, say "Thanks for your service," regardless of your politics. It's not an easy life.

Wine   Wine tasting (okay, wine drinking) is one my favorite pastimes. I like to visit wine areas in Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, California, and anywhere else I can find them. My favorite wine store in Portland is Vino.

Volunteering   It's rewarding to perform volunteer work, a value learned from my parents. I volunteer at the Happy Valley Library in Happy Valley, Oregon. I'm a delivery driver for Clackamas County Meals on Wheels and also a strong supporter of the Oregon Food Bank.