Warning: Contains mentions of depression, anxiety and panic
I’m giving a talk at Alterconf London soon about mental health in the tech workplace. After giving it a test drive at work I’ve decided to rewrite it, but thought it would be worth putting the draft up on here. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t work so well when speeding through a talk. So it doesn’t really have an ending, and it’s a bit rough.
Warning: Contains mentions of self-harm, plus details about depression, anxiety and panic
For the last couple of years, I’ve written little reviews of the year. I never expect many people to read them. I like them because they help me reflect, help me to remember all the good things that happened. I’m a December baby so I’m always a little reflective this time of year. It has not been a good year. I had to go through my calendar and my Twitter archive to actually remember what happened this year. Part of that is probably aging, but most of it is because I’m not well.
I’ve never really spoken about this before, but this week is Psoriasis Awareness Week and a couple of pieces I’ve seen already have made me want to share my own story. I’ve suffered with it since I was about 19 and after trying every treatment there is, I’m finally on the mend. But what’s going on?
A developer’s time is expensive. It doesn’t matter if the company is an internal product team or an agency, we estimate budgets based on time. For example, you might be renting out your developers for £700 a day, or estimating that the next sprint costs you £5000 just in development time. This is why timesheets are so important, we need to bill clients based on the time you spent working on their project. It’s why we have daily standups, to make sure developers and tasks are moving at a reasonable pace. Development takes as long as it takes, but we still want our developers to account for every hour.
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.
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