Warning: Contains spoilers for Dark Souls 3 ending and Dark Souls 1 locations. I have highlighted where the DS3 spoilers are so feel free to read until then
I’ve been playing games since the late 80s, longer than some of my friends have been alive. Over time, it’s become a bigger part of my identity than it really should; I’ve worked in game stores, run events and my (so far) only tattoo has Ico and Yorda running across my right shoulder blade. Events of the last handful of years though have pushed me away from the gaming community, I feel disconnected from a hobby that once defined me. What this is basically saying is, I played Dark Souls so that people would like me.
I am currently looking for a new tech role. I have been a backend web developer (Python, Ruby) for the last few years, but I really would like to move into a more people-centric role. I’m looking for service design/user research or similar. I would also be interested in working in the education sector around computing, or in a charity digital team. I specialise in empathy and inclusivity.
I am really into education, digital inclusion and diversity. I have been a Code Club volunteer for two years and a DjangoGirls mentor. I also helped organise DjangoGirls Sheffield, and am currently a co-organiser of CodeUp Sheffield. My talk about designing services for trans and non-binary users has been given at several conferences and usergroups and has also been turned into a workshop.
I am based in Sheffield but am able to commute to Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham. If you think I’d be a good fit for you, or you just would like to chat, contact info is on my CV or you can catch me at ScotlandJS this week, NUX Manchester on Monday 6th or at UX Scotland on 8th and 9th.
I have worked in the tech industry since I graduated from university in 2011. Including my placement year, that gives me about 5 years experience, almost exclusively in backend web development. I have now firmly moved out of the junior category and am floating in the middleweight ocean.
2014 was a checklist of life events. New job, first conference talk, new house, learnt to drive. 2015 was the year where I was going to settle down and do nothing. Let’s examine how amazingly I failed.
For the last year, I’ve been taking my Asking About Gender talk to usergroups and conferences all over the UK. The reception I’ve had has been fantastic no matter who the audience. The next step for me is to write some workshops that I can take to conferences and interested companies. Most people I talk to are happy that I can give them practical advice because they know they should do something, but don’t have the time or resource to find out what.
This blog post is not about my talk however. It’s about me, and my gender journey, and how self-acceptance might not always be the best thing.
This year I went to my second Pycon UK and my first as a speaker. I’m not a Python developer anymore but I love the community so when I started pitching my Asking About Gender talk to non-UX conferences, they were top of my list. I also went to my first DjangoGirls event as a coach. This is how my weekend went.
Trigger Warning: Contains references to depression, anxiety and self-harm
Today is Self Injury Awareness Day. I’ve spent the last week writing up a blog post about it; going into my history and my thoughts. This is not that blog post.
Like many other people of my age, I did IT for GCSE at school because 'the future is computers'. This was in the year 1999/2000 and the entire course was just Microsoft Office and the tiniest amount of HTML. All I remember is spending a year thinking up comedy names to go in my Access database, making a 3D conic graph with 'This is a graph' written on it to cover stupid criteria and doing my HTML coursework in Publisher (Oh yes). Suffice it to say that it was hardly inspiring.
I don't really like end of year lists much, although I'm sure at some point during New Year's Eve I'll drunk tweet some kind of fangirlish braindump. I've done so much this year though and writing it down is helping me to comprehend it.
In the last couple of months, I've done a couple of talks about people who do not fit or identify on the gender binary of male and female. I've always been interested in gender and how society uses it to make assumptions and judgments about people. The interest stems partially from being a woman in technology and how that makes me stand out and also from my own discovery of my gender identity. It's important to raise awareness, and the talks I've done have been well received.
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