I’ve been giving my talk about gender for developers for a few years now, and it’s constantly being refined. Last year I gave the same version of the talk at Edinburgh and York universities. I noticed that researchers have different reasons for asking about gender and for them, it is not as avoidable as it is for commercial companies. I have spent way too long on r/samplesize and I’ve seen a lot of questionnaires with badly written gender questions and a general misunderstanding of gender, even in surveys that are explicitly about gender or gender-adjacent topics. This blog post is specifically for researchers and academics; it will cover why we ask about the gender (and other characteristics) of our participants; why this might cause issues for them and some best practice around asking about, and reporting on, gender.
In the past I’ve written and spoken about non-binary inclusion in tech, specifically around existing women in tech groups. I know lots of nb folks have ideas and feelings around this, and having read a lot of them, I have realised that I have misspoken. I have advocated for women’s group to include nb folks but I don’t think I’ve been clear on what this means or how I think it should work. I’ve done the thing of coming up with a solution without understanding the problem, even from my own perspective. So here we go, let’s define the problem and then see where we get.
Warning: Contains discussion of depersonalisation and anxiety
As my anxiety is mostly presenting as periods of depersonalisation right now, I wanted to think about the metaphors I use to describe my experience and the limitations of that.
Content warning: Descriptions of verbal harrassment, gender dysphoria
I would never really describe myself as feminine. The last time I wore a dress was when I was forced to for our end of A-levels social. I haven’t worn makeup that isn’t nail polish since I was 16 (again forced). There was a way to be a girl, and I definitely wasn’t that.
I bought a dress yesterday. I almost bought two. I bought myself an entire wardrobe of things that aren’t “gaming tshirt and hoodie”. In a really odd way, it feels like coming out all over again. Let’s unpick this!
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.
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