This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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December 2005
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The New Thing

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So… what is this new thing to which I am going? Many of you who I speak to regularly by email or by phone already know at least some of it, but I’ll post some more here.

I don’t yet have a good sense of just how sensitive the new place is to employees mentioning them or talking about them or anything else on blogs and such. I know some companies are relaitively open to such things, others absolutely forbid it, and most are in between. Untill I hear any otherwise though, I’ll stick to the policy I have generally had since this website existed, which is to not mention my employers by name and not to ever discuss any specifics of what goes on at work. Generally, not to talk much about work at all, and when I do do so to be very high level and vague.

So anyway, where am I going? Well, without mentioning their name, think ecommerce, think books (and other things), think Seattle. Oh, and I tend to link to them every time I read a book. There, just about anybody should be able to figure that out.

So, what will I be doing? Well, I don’t know all the details and specifics myself yet, so no danger of saying things I should not. But I’ll be working managing projects related to data mining, and extracting useful (and profitable) information from the huge amounts of data collected by the company every day. In addition to managing existing projects, I’ll be expected to help come up with ideas for new projects and new ways of collecting data and extracting useful information from it. That will be the really fun part.

In the all day interview with a variety of people I will be working with I just got a sense of excitement over the kinds of things I would be working on. It will take some of the product and project management I’ve done over the last few years, merge it with some of the web stuff I did before that, and then throw in a healthy dose of logic, mathematics, algorithms and analysis that I love, and have dabbled with occationally for fun, but haven’t gotten to do for “real” since college. I am hoping that this will be a real blast. Fun projects to work on, surrounded by smart people, the right resources and support to get things done, real ownership of projects, etc.

And yes, the job is in Seattle. This will be yet another big huge change. And yet another move.

A couple years ago I figured just how often I’ve moved in my live. This only counting the “full” moves where I take all my stuff and move it somewhere new, not the many back and forths between parents and such when they lived close enough that I did things like alternate weeks as a child and such.

Lets see:

Madison, WI => Durham, NC => Tanzania => Mozambique => Durham, NC => Indianapolis, IN => Washington, DC => Durham, NC => Frederick, MD => Pittsburgh, PA => Washington, DC => Alexandria, VA => Plainsboro, NJ => Yardley, PA => Melbourne, FL => Palm Bay, FL => Seattle, WA (or nearby suburb)

By the time we actually get fully to the Seattle area I’ll be only a few months from 35, so lets just call it 35. 16 moves in 35 years. That is moving about every 26 months. If you only count moves since I graduated college it becomes 7 moves in 13 years. Which is moving every 22 months or so. That is a lot of moves! Sigh! I had really hoped that I’d be in Palm Bay for many years. But given the situation at my previous employer that just was not feasible. And this opportunity would most likely have been worth a move even if the current position had been going well and I had been happy.

So, how are we doing this?

We could have opted for a “quick move” getting out of here instantly (or close thereto), then trying to sell the house remotely. Two problems with that.

First, there is some fixing up we want to do on the house as we put it on the market. Just a little additional work, things which we had intended to do all along but will now accellerate, will most likely raise the selling price by considerably more than they cost to do.

But second and more importantly, having myself changed schools in the middle of a school year, I know that is not fun. Plus if we moved right NOW, chances are we would not start out in the same school district we will end up in, and that would be yet another school change for Amy. She’s already been in one school for 3rd grade, another for 4th, and two different schools for 5th. Hopefully for 6th we’ll be able to put her somewhere that will let her stay with the same group of kids for longer than a year.

So in order to accomidate both of the above items…

Looks like we’re going to become a long distance family for a little while. I’ll be heading to Seattle on the weekend of Janusary 7th and 8th. I will start on the 9th. Brandy and Amy will stay home. Amy will finish 5th grade. Brandy will get all the things that need to be taken care of on the hose taken care of. There will be some sort of temporary housing for me from the company for a few weeks, but after that I’ll probably get a studio apartment or some such on a 6 month lease if I can find such a thing. The goal will to be to move into something perminant (or at least semi-perminant… good for a couple years at least) once Amy’s school year is over and the whole family moves.

In the mean time, I’ll get back on weekends when I can. It probably will not be every weekend. The first month I might not get back at all. This will really be difficult. The whole long distance thing is not fun. These few months will probably seem to be much longer. Tons of phone calls, emails, IMs and those visits as often as possible to be sure, but it is not the same as coming home and being together every evening.

But we know it is needed, and know that in the long run it is for the best.

Anyway, there is definate apprehension about the transition period… that will be hard… and the fact that when we do move, we will definately be moving into something smaller.

However, the new position is very exciting and seems like a great opportunity. It certainly beats any option that existed here in Florida… by quite a large margin. I am very excited about it and while those two thing may be difficult in the short run, in the long run almost everything should be better at the new position and the new location.

So… Seattle here I come!