A Nomadic Childhood
My father spent the first half of his career in the United States Air Force. I was born in Japan and lived in California, Texas, Maine, Iowa, Italy, France, and an air force base in Idaho before entering eighth grade in Boise, Idaho, when my father retired from the Air Force.
After graduating from Boise High School, I received a BS in chemistry from Boise State College and an MS and PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor and a year of postdoctoral research at Illinois, I went to work as a photographic research scientist at Kodak in snowy Rochester, NY. My wife 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. As an Atari hobbyist in the 1980s, I wrote many articles for personal computer magazines. I moved into software at Kodak in 1983, working there as a developer, manager, quality engineer, and process improvement leader. In 1997 I launched my software development training and consulting company, Process Impact. I've written ten technical books, most recently Software Requirements Essentials, and nearly 300 articles on software, project management, product design, consulting, chemistry, military history and self-help.
After some 25 years as an independent consultant, speaker, trainer, and author, I wrote Successful Business Analysis Consulting: Strategies and Tips for Going It Alone. If you're interested in being self-employed, consulting in nearly any field, giving presentations, or writing for publication, you'll find much valuable information there.
Writing Sometimes, I just feel like writing something, and not always about software. My first nontechnical book was a memoir of life lessons titled Pearls from Sand: How Small Encounters Lead to Powerful Lessons. In 2016 I had a really cool idea for a forensic mystery novel, which led to The Reconstruction, the most fun I ever had writing something. What next? Maybe I feel a sequel coming on.
Music Like everybody else, I picked up the electric guitar when I was 12. I enjoy recording songs, both covers and originals that I wrote, just for fun. I play Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, Taylor acoustic-electric, Rodriguez classical, and Schecter bass guitars. Yes, I already know I can't sing.
Military History Growing up on Air Force bases, military history became a major reading interest. Visiting military museums, memorial ships, and battlefields is also fascinating. I've flown in World War II-era B-17 and B-24 bombers, amazing experiences.
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, and I'm a delivery driver for Clackamas County Meals on Wheels. This essay describes why I drive for Meals on Wheels.
Wine Wine tasting (okay, wine drinking) is one my favorite pastimes. I like to visit wine areas in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, California, Virginia, and anywhere else. Two of my favorite T-shirts: