Week #1: 2018 and Project 12

January 22, 2018


I decided to write a bit of an open letter each week (may be bi-weekly) on my comings and goings to keep my family updated as I travel the world, work on my side projects and other moderately interesting life events.

So bringing everything up to speed, I started 2018 on a year long project with Andrew. We hashed out 12 emerging technologies and each month we’re going to pick one and learn about it, find a relevant use-case project where we can apply it, build something, then write about it. The goal is that by the end of the year we’ll have a more intimate familiarity with all the new exciting technology on the frontier, a better idea of which one we want to focus more going forward and some experience and credibility that may open doors for more opportunities down the road, and maybe one of these projects could turn into something bigger.

Month one is focused around web development (Andrew wants to get our project site up), and I’m preparing for month two (traditional data science techniques & predictive modeling). For month two we’re thinking of working with real estate data. I think being comfortable with housing data will be useful down the line if we ever want to get into real estate investment. Zillow also has a huge dataset they released to the public. We’re still thinking about use-cases, but for my own preparation I’m just trying to predict housing price based on a toy dataset of housing prices, using a bunch of different popular models.

Andrew will be working on these projects full time and I’ll be working on them part time. I am still working at the Aerospace Manufacturing company (Sterling Machine), approved for up to 30 hours a week, still entirely remote. I now work almost entirely with the Connecticut facility actually, they just went live with our ERP software and have a ton of improvement/customization requests. So there is little reason for me to go into the Boston office aside from catching up with old coworkers. One of the Epicor leads at CT just been hired by another company to be an ERP developer (what I do right now for the company). I had actually just started to interface with him on projects about two weeks before he put in his notice. So now I work with the system administrator, Eric who is a really cool, laid back guy that I’ve known for a while.

Aside from work, I’ve been spending almost all of my time up in our ski house in Vermont by Sugarbush resort. It’s very quite and peaceful here, the locals are all incredibly friendly and the snowy landscape is pretty picturesque. During the weekend all our close friends come up and we have a riot on the mountain and hang out at the house. Everyones in a good mood when they come up here, you can tell everyones happy they’re escaping the work week in Boston. At the end of the weekend everyone goes back to Boston and it’s just me and Andrew again.

We’ve gotten into a rhythm between work and ski. We’d wake up around 7:30am and cook up some breakfast. We sit down and take our meeting for the daily project goals, then I skype into my companies daily meeting (with Eric, system admin) of the same format. We work until around 1pm, break for lunch then head to the mountain and ski until the last lift closes. We have gym memberships to the resort gym, so we head there for a hot tub session and workout, then come home for dinner and try to get another work session in. That second work session has been a hit or miss unfortunately. We’ve been trying to become more disciplined on timing for each of these activities. If you go over on any of these activities you end up short changing yourself later in the day.

Only other thing of interest is Andrew and I signed up for this week long MIT course called ‘Nuts and Bolts of New Ventures’ (http://nutsandbolts.mit.edu/info.php). It’s a course on Entreprenuership, but I don’t know too too much about it yet, I’ll need to read up on it tonight. The manager of Venture Cafe (a non-profit organization focused on connecting innovators, entreprenuers and investors through events and stuff) recommended it to Andrew, so we signed up. Class starts tomorrow (Tuesday 1/23), goes from 6pm-9pm every night on campus, so we’re going to drive into Boston vtonight and stick around until the course ends.

Anyways, I’d like to keep these short mainly because it’ll make it easier for me to consistently write them, but being the first one I think it’s okay that it’s a little long. Feel free to share with whoever. Maybe at some point I’ll make a mailing list or something if needed.