My adventures with antidepressants

Fri Oct 12, 2018

Warning: Contains discussion of depression, mentions of self-harm and suicidal thoughts but no details

I’m a couple of days late for World Mental Health Day, but as depression isn’t a single day activity I don’t think it matters. I’ve already written before a little of my history with mental illness; and I’ve spoken about my experiences with therapy. This time I want to talk about antidepressants as this is the first year I’ve been on them for a long time and I wanted to share my story.

Gender for researchers and academics

Mon Oct 01, 2018

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.

Non-binary inclusion in tech

Fri Mar 23, 2018

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.

Depersonalisation and Metaphor

Wed May 31, 2017

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.

I'm not like the other girls: Being feminine while identifying as masculine

Tue May 02, 2017

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!

Mental Health: The talk draft that got ditched

Thu Mar 23, 2017

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.

2016: Let's not do this again

Thu Dec 29, 2016

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.

Psoriasis Awareness Week

Mon Oct 31, 2016

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?

There's No Line on my Timesheet for Panic Attacks

Mon Oct 03, 2016

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.

I Have Become Death

Sun Jul 31, 2016

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.

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