So I promised to some that there would be some big news on Thursday, so here it is. Some people had to find this out first (mainly my boss) before I could post it publically. A few have known about this for a while, so thank you for holding your tongues. This post should only be visible to some, and I have tried to set privacy on my Facebook wall so that work cannot see this, since this information is not that public yet. But, with that said, either comment here, or on Summer's Facebook, not mine, for the time being.

It has come time for the Watt family to leave our home in Columbia, MO. Lord willing, we will be moving to the Franklin, TN area (suburb of Nashville) in late September. I have accepted a new position with a different company (more on that in a moment). A long time ago, Summer had to stay in Missouri for 5 years for a loan forgiveness program, and we had our hearts set on moving some time after that time was up. Having two kids somewhat changed our outlook, but some things that have happened this year have enabled us once again to look for a new opportunity.

So, the new employer is called The Lampo Group, based in Brentwood, TN. That name in and of itself is not too widely known. It’s a company of about 300 employees, and at the start I will be doing mostly web development. The development style there is a major change from what I have been doing for 5 years now – no XP, no/little Agile – but the team I would be working with is very functional and very productive. I got to meet the team recently, and they are very intelligent, driven, and extremely friendly – one of them even offered to have his wife show us around the day after the interview. I hope to at some point reflect on the interview process, if I am allowed to, as it was very different (the least of which it taking over 3 months) yet probably helps keep turnover extremely low and make sure they get the right people.

(Technical paragraph) My fellow developers where I currently work might scratch their head when they find out that the programming language of choice there is Cold Fusion, something that CARFAX has spent quite a bit of time moving away from. Somehow, ColdFusion keeps following me around – I have used it at my previous two employers. Thankfully, it sounds like some Java development is being done, somewhat similar to where CARFAX was 5 years ago, only they seem to be doing a better job at it compared to where we were.
We started the application process back in April when we noticed via Facebook that The Lampo Group won the award for best place to work in Nashville 3 years in a row (in comparison, CARFAX HQ in VA has been on a similar list for 4 years). We had wanted to move to the South, and what this company does is something we believe in (hence following them on Facebook), so it seemed like the natural choice.

Deciding to leave Columbia has been a very tough choice. It has been my home for over 5 years now, Summer for 10. This would be the first time she has lived outside of Missouri. We were married here. our children were born here and we have owned our first house here. We just got our Mizzou Football season tickets today, and are going to have to just watch games from the TV, if we can even get them (anyone want to buy our tickets?) We also have some good friendships that we will have to leave behind (or rather, turn into distance relationships). Yet, despite what we leave behind, a fresh start is very exciting for both of us, and hopefully we can do some good while we are there.

I have to start work by the end of September, so it looks like we will be moving sometime around the 20th or 21st. We have almost lined up a place to live, and are prepping our house to sell right now (no easy task when you have a newborn and a very curious 19mo old). The coming weeks will be very stressful for our family, so prayers would be appreciated, and some help loading a truck at some point would be helpful too ;). 

So, that’s the big news. I’m sorry that we have been secretive through this process. I did not want word about this getting back to CARFAX since I did not want to jeopardize my position should the opportunity not work out, nor did I want to get our hopes up too much.