10 Things You Don’t Know About Me: Chris Hemedinger
byChrisHemedinger12-14-201507:00 AM - edited 12-14-201508:00 AM
I think I'm a bit of an open book, but I've tried hard to find some trivia about myself that others might not already know.
My college education: I double-majored to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science and English Writing. Loved programming but avoided math courses, loved writing but avoided literature courses. Now I wish that I took more math and more literature, of course.
My first job was as a newspaper carrier for the Buffalo Courier Express. I was about 12 years old. I held the job for a year, but lost it when they ceased publication in the early 1980s. Fortunately, I picked up a route for the Buffalo Evening News and didn't miss a day of work.
My first job after college was as a technical writer for a US defense contractor. The place was a little bit behind-the-times, plus the content I was writing required a Secret-level clearance -- so my high-tech tools were pencil and paper. I turned my work into a typing pool each evening: two women who worked 2nd shift to transcribe my content onto central workstations. The printouts would be waiting for me the next morning.
Decades before I worked for that contractor, my mother worked at the same place up until the week I was born. Her job title: she was a Computer.
Speaking of my early life...I didn't meet my father for the first time until I was 10 months old. His Air National Guard unit was deployed to the South China sea when my mother was 7 months pregnant with me. This was during the Vietnam conflict. Dad was an electrician, not a soldier, and wasn't stationed anywhere that saw combat (at least as far as I've heard). But like many families at the time, my Mom had to rely on the support of family and friends to manage life with her new young child. I know that this is not unusual even today for those who serve in the military, and I have great respect for those who choose to serve in this way.
Writing SAS For Dummieshas had a big influence on my career. But the project wasn't my idea. Judy Whatley (a now-retired editor with SAS Press) worked for years to get the project started with Wiley (the publisher). My colleague Stephen McDaniel was the first author who signed on to write it. I was invited to become the coauthor when the project fell behind schedule. I had just two months to complete my part. When we wrote the second edition, the schedule was a little more reasonable.
I was in the SAS show choir (called "VocalMotion") for several years. I sang, I danced, and I wore sequined outfits. In many ways, it prepared me for a career of delivering software demos.
My wife Gail and I have 3 beautiful and talented daughters. A friend once referred to them as "the Hemedaughters", and we've used that term ever since.