My name is Kris Korsmo, and I wear a lot of hats. I'm a father of three great kids, a pilot and an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) - ColdFusion. I got into programming by accident when I was about 10 because I really wanted an Atari game console like all my friends had.
I was a pretty good kid - I got good grades, didn't talk back too much or burn anything down, and as a result my parents were really good to me. Yes, I was an only child, and I'm sure that had something to do with it, but believe me, I always had to work for stuff. As an incentive for getting good grades, mom and dad promised me an Atari, so when my next report card came home, they made good on their promise and went out for the Atari. Unfortunately, what they came home with was NOT what I had planned.
It was an Atari 400. It had 16k of RAM, a cassette tape recorder, and the worst part - game cartridges that looked nothing like what my friends had. It would probably be kind to say that I was disappointed. My thoughts of buying different games and switching with my buddies were completely shot down. I walked away, kid-cursing, as my dad was hooking it up to the TV. When I came back a while later my mom was playing Pac Man. When I saw the screen I was amazed - it looked exactly like the real arcade game, which the original Atari Pac Man game did not. Ok - maybe this thing was cool after all. In fact, it was much better than the old atari game consoles. I thought my parents sucked at first, but after further review, it turns out they kicked butt!
Besides the couple games my parents bought, the Atari came with another game called BASIC. It stumped me. I had no idea how to play it. For about a week I shoved the cartridge into the console and tried to coax it into working, but it just didn't do anything, so I forgot about it (remember, I was only about 10). Some time later I noticed there was a book with BASIC on it. I flipped through the first few pages and read that if I typed some of these lines of computer code it would produce a multi-colored lightning bolt across the screen and create a sound to go with it. So I typed it and it worked as advertised! I thought that was very cool, and I wondered what else I could do with it. I read the entire book, and by the time I was done I had created some very simple games, and my addiction to writing code had begun.
In college (Washington State University - go Cougars!) I began my studies in computer science. I was... let's just say distracted... and probably didn't pay as much attention to my grades as I should have. I wasn't failing or anything, just sort of taking my time because I wasn't thrilled with the prospect of going to work for the man. And at the beginning of my senior year I came across a poster for an aviation ground school that was being taught over in Moscow, Idaho which was just a short drive away. I promptly signed up for the course, and that's where my second addiction was spawned.
I was more than eager to learn about aviation. I had no idea what would become of me taking the course, but I looked forward to it enthusiastically each week, and ended up acing the course. I knew right away that although I loved coding, I had to find a way to fly. I found a flight school in Florida, and after I graduated from WSU I moved down there straight away. I earned all my certificates and ratings, and became a fully licensed pilot. My flight school then hired me on as an instructor.
When I started as a flight instructor was about the time the dot com boom was beginning. Because of my background in programming, the flight school solicited me to build their web site. I did it in exchange for flight time, which was great. they gave me a twin-engine plane (and paid for the gas) 1:2. Every two hours of work on the site was an hour of flight time. Not too shabby! As it turned out, I got a bit of recognition for my work, and ended up being solicited for more website work and it hasn't stopped since.
I continued to fly, and ended up being hired by a commuter in 1998. I flew with that company, based in the northeastern part of the U.S., until October 2005 when I was hired with a major airline. I now live in Seattle, my home town, and continue to fly and code.
I can be reached a bunch of different ways:
Email: kriskorsmo at gmail dotcom
Phone: 206 xxx xxxx