Shan Pin Koh's Blog Travel, Photography, Food, Randomness

14Apr/130

Hello Sunny Houston

In a few weeks/months, I will be calling Houston my new home. It is a very hard decision to make, many sleepless nights, leading up to this. But everyone has to grow up at some point.

This past month has been interesting indeed. From the project that I was busting my ass being paused to interviewing for 2 positions and getting them both. Wow, it has been an interesting experience. I think this is part in the grand plan somewhere, the playbook. The playbook that is life, a journey that leads us down interesting paths, making decisions as we go.

25Dec/120

Misguided Year

It's Christmas day and it's a bright one. I couldn't help but reflect on the past year. I sit here another year later... I spend this time to think about what I've accomplished and not in the past year.

Looking back now, it seemed like ages ago. This year started so so. I've believed my New Years Day reflects the year that I would have. This year, I felt a little misguided. Let's see. The year started busy like any other. I was in transition to my new role - learning what I needed to do as I go. Things moved fast and I learned just a little more each time. I must have spent the first quarter worrying if I did the right thing - switching roles. In some ways, I think I did. In some ways, I don't think I'll ever get to find out.

26Feb/120

Waiting to be inspired

Watching Larry Crowne, it's quite the movie. He didn't seem to let the bad situation take control of him. But instead, he took it as a way to invent himself. He enrolled in college and took the job that was there for him. Most would think that being the cook from a store supervisor is a demotion. In some ways it is, but let's be practical. Sometimes it is important to do what makes sense...

I couldn't help myself from being inspired by his story. A fictional one but when there's a good plot, it doesn't really matter.

I'm not waiting for the next big inspiration. I keep wondering about what's my big break and when I'll get it. I think it's there in front of me. Just have to look at it with a different light.

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21Feb/120

Reflections in February

On the plane back from Shanghai to Detroit, from Detroit to La Guardia and La Guardia to MSP, I read several chapters of the Steve Jobs book. It's an inspiring book to learn about the life of Steve Jobs and the story of Apple. One of the lessons to take out from it is the need to reinvent ourselves (or company) every few years.

Looking back at my life, I had some life changing events through the years. I would remember having a 'dark period' where there wasn't much advancement in my life, similar to Apple when Steve was not at Apple. Those are the times that you learn about what's important. Then you go through a phase of change because you realize it's needed. In 2006, I started my MS in Software Engineering. The next 2 years would help change the way I think and approach problems. There were times when I stopped and asked myself if this stressed time was worth it. Well, without it, I would say that I won't be where I am today. It's a catalyst for starting the re-inventing process.

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5Feb/120

Statistics

I've always believed that there are patterns in numbers and statistics is a way of unlocking them. Or helping you see the pattern.

I definitely think that the time I spent at Dow has taught me to look and appreciate numbers and data in front of you. I think it has definitely made me a different engineer. It has also shown me that most people speak with feelings and emotions.

Even with my strong bias towards data, I also believe in intuition. Data can help intuition make sense.

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13Dec/110

iPhone Tethering – why not let us tether?

Reading this article on iPhone tethering sparked a thought in my mind. In my mind, I disagree with what's being done here. Yes, we paid for data plan but why should you regulate and make a distinction on what type of data we use? I know you can but there should be some form of anti trust law that protects us against this type of behavior.

This limitation is not there in carriers outside the US - China and Malaysia. Yes, they are still in the business of making money. This might be a philosophical question of this is just the way it is because that's how we make the rules. We don't want you to tether because we want to limit bandwidth and we also don't want you to use up to your limit.

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4Dec/110

The Year 2011

It has been a great year. Things moving fast, almost too fast. January felt like a long time ago but it was 11 months ago. Sometimes it feels like I have not done anything this year.

This year, I have been to Asia three times. I visited China for the first time in February, again in June and one more time in October. Each of my visit slightly better than the other. The details are fuzzy and clear at the same time. There are just the times when I remember what I said or did. There are places that I was at, things that I saw, words that I said. Every bit different and exciting at the same time.

In September, I was in Malaysia too. Got a new passport and stayed through the hot days at home, not doing much. I often wondered how hot can it get but it's quite unbearable without air conditioning... Yes, I'm spoiled.

Job wise, this has been the year. I was promoted in May. Title changed and with more responsibilities but with same $. Sucks but good experience. I'm preparing myself for what's to come. Or I'm just getting screwed. In October, I started a new role. I had agreed to sign on to start up one of the production lines in Saudi Arabia. It will be a good change of pace for me and I eagerly anticipate the challenges ahead of me.

To what may come...

30May/110

Randomness Part 56

This is a post about randomness. What will I talk about today?

Well, the world didn't end... The predictions was wrong. I had a good few days after turning 33. I took on a new role this last week. I'm now in charge of a team of 5.5 people in IS. For a while now, I've been wanting to do something like this, where I can lead and make a difference. It feels like this is the year that I will get what I want... I started traveling a lot this year and it's something that I've been wanting to do for a really long time. Living out of a suitcase, never knowing what to expect.

One of the lessons this year that I learned is that if you don't like something, you need to do something about it - talk to someone, rather than bottle it up inside. If you have a conflict with an individual, talk to someone else... But don't talk in the negative terms - figure out how to best explain the situation in the most neutral state. Taking a step back and being less abrasive will also help.

I have a good feeling about this year and things are starting to line up. 🙂

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23Apr/110

New Challenges

I had a good meeting on Thursday. It has shaped my weeks to come. This weekend has been a good time to stop and think, about where I am and where I want to go. This is my opportunity to define who I want to be in the next few years.

Technology is definitely a passion of mine. More importantly, the values that are important to me are family, work, personal goals.

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13Apr/110

There are no Technology Challenges, Just People Challenges

A couple of fact and points. I don't consider myself the smartest person, or the fastest cyclist or the best photographer by any means. I consider myself having known just enough for what I need to do. If I wanted to be the smartest person in the world, I would need to keep learning, and learning but someone else would still be smarter than me, another example of people challenge.

That was an example of an external source. What about internally, with yourself? For this, I have another example. I started biking again 3 years ago. In the 3 years, I had set a goal to bike enough miles in a year. I remembered my first 40 mile ride. I was convinced I had what it took to ride it since I had done a 300 miles ride that summer. Well, by mile 30, I was completely winded. The guys I was riding with was WAY ahead of me. They didn't quite wait...