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


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.


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.


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.

Filed under: My Stuff Continue reading


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.

Filed under: My Stuff No Comments

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...


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.

Filed under: My Stuff Continue reading

Think Bold, Dream Big

This is a complete scatter brain thought. Three things:

Always believed you should think bigger and better than before. Don't settle for mediocre, don't sweat the small stuff, it's the big stuff that makes a difference.

Feeling inspired at the moment, reading "Make It In America", book by Dow CEO, Andrew Liveris. Interesting points so far...

People often ask for help more than they give back. I'm not expecting cash backs, just an occasional thank you would be nice.


The Realization

I watched another friend of mine leave after spending so much time working and one day, he decided it was enough and left. After so many years, I finally realize why he did it. It's not a moment of breaking down but rather coming to realization that some times there is so much more in this world than work, money, experience. Sometimes family is part of that life experience that makes a person complete.

Perhaps I need another trip home to kick me back to reality... It took a trip halfway around the world for me to realize what I've been missing in my life and that feeling is strong and real.

Filed under: My Stuff No Comments

The Missing Ingredient

For a while now, I had no idea what was going on with me. It is not a major issue, just one that's enough to bother me from time to time. But this week, I had figured it out. Had a physical exam and when the doctor ordered blood work, he got an extra test. At first, it made no sense to me why he would have included it.


That Moment

I often wondered what happened to so and so. I've often wondered where their life has led them to, what they might be doing today, who they're with, etc.

Well, my life has been unpredictable to say the least. I found that the moment you find out that an ex has moved on, you immediately think, well, good for them. But do you really? Do you secretly wished you moved on first? Perhaps. I will say that I've never had to find out, never really wanted to because the past is the past. There's a reason it didn't work out before and so there's no point in looking back.