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.

The tl'dr version is in 2014 I have done the following:

  • Given my first conference talk
  • Bought a house
  • Moved house
  • Passed my driving test
  • Started a new job
  • Started volunteering for Code Club and Code Club Pro
  • Did my first STEM Ambassdor volunteering
  • Did my first volunteering for Sheffieldr for Games Britannia
  • Spoken at 3 barcamps, SheffieldJS, First Play Sheffield and the first Sheffield Nerd Nite
  • Seen Machine Supremacy (twice!) and had a great chat and hug with a couple of the band members
  • Went to all the game concerts! (Zelda Symphony, Final Fantasy: A New World and Video Games Live!)

This doesn't even cover ongoing events like First Play Sheffield which is amazingly still going strong. FPS highlight this year was raising £350 for Special Effect in February by staying up all night playing games in the Electric Works. However I don't think bleary-eyed 2am Singstar is something that should ever happen again.

People tell you that buying a house is the most stressful thing you can do. I'm not sure how true that is, although packing and moving is something I'd like to not do again for another 10 years. Our purchase was a really long process (April to September) and a lot of that is just waiting for other people to do things. I am constantly humbled by the privilege that allows me to own a house, especially as I am the only person in my immediate family to do so. Still, it is a massive relief to have it all done, relatively speaking.

The other major change was the change in job. Looking for work while already working is awkward. I am still enraged by how resistant this industry is to remote working and how London-centric it feels. It was partially my fault; since university I have been a Python developer and the prospect of moving language filled me with dread. I am very lucky to have moved to a company that has given me time to start afresh with Ruby without making me feel like a junior. I have also expanded my 'soft skills' with this new role, I have helped with workshops and written my first blog post for someone else. My work running a Code Club has been made much easier with their support as well and I hope to help them expand upon the idea of teaching and mentoring in the future.

As for next year, I think my resolution is going to be 'Do less'. I may have broken this already. I have started the ball rolling towards a long-held ambition of running a gaming conference and I've volunteered to do at least 2 usergroup sessions. I hope that my Code Club will continue in the new year, and that I can get some Code Club Pro sessions organised. There is still a lot of work to be done on the house; mostly decorating and putting our stamp on it. I would also like a free weekend or two to work on my gender project (see previous post) and I'd love to talk about gender more if I can scout out some more platforms.

Song of the year: Beyond Good and Evil by Machinae Supremacy