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Lars Gunther

Education Task Force Member

Lars Gunther was born in 1966 in the town of BorĂ¥s, Sweden, as the youngest of three siblings. Constructing things is a family trait. My grandfather built his own lathe and as a kid I constructed a gazillion things, be it carts, wooden rifles or elaborate game rules.

In the secondary school, “gymnasium”, I majored in science and computing, was among Sweden’s top 20 in math, and studied extra German, French, Latin and ancient Greek.

At this time a experienced a calling to become a pastor in the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden and decided to broaden my horizons in preparation. The next years I was a (not so good) salesman, worked on the line for Sweden’s largets mail order company, in kindergarten, in nursing homes with the elderly and disabled, as a substitute teacher with 13 to 19 year old students, in church with the youth and scouts.

In 1990-94 I studied at what has become Stockhol School of Theology. It was during this time I bought my first modem and joined BBSs and Compuserve. I also started a company, Keryx, on the side, which I’ve kept since.

I started working at my first assignment as a pastor in 1994, and used local BBSs to evangelize. I also got my first PPP account that year and started using the web with IBM WebExplorer on my OS/2 laptop. I soon started to hack my first lines of HTML.

During my second pastorate I developed web sites for my church, for my company and for a few customers to my company. Compatibilities between browsers drove me crazy and for a while I resorted to using Net Objects Fusion. But when I needed to build dynamic Web sites, I was back to hand coding. I first started using CSS, as nested tables simply was too burdensome. I take pride in discovering principles like separation of concerns or the difference between quirks mode and standards mode myself, out of sheer necessity.

After a while I discovered Netscape’s DevEdge and the writings of Molly H, Eric M and Jeffrey Z. I was excited that there was a community of like minded developers.

Since 2001 I have been working as a teacher, with telecommunications and Web technologies as my primary subjects. I show up (or lurk) on IRC-channels, SitePoint, Wikipedia, the WSG mailing list, the WHATWG mailing list, PHP internals, Bugzilla and some Swedish forums, often with the nickname “itpastorn” = “The IT pastor”, which was given to me by my colleagues a long time ago.

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