I’ve had a fantastic week of meeting with colleagues and friends, getting to know some of my organisation, brainstorming ideas for next year, working out how to prioritise and plan, being handed greater responsibility and freedom…
Now I’m sat in Berlin airport with loads of time until my next flight and what am I doing? Creating a brand new coding product to play Sudoku, writing a new personal blog post and (of course) updating my personal blog platform software (sigh).
I should be finalising my personal and team objectives for 2020, for Q1, and for February. I should be using those to plan next month/quarter. I should be using all the notes I took this week to create sharable content for the team and maybe even a new blog post or two for work.
But I’m not. I feel the urge to code, and I want to scratch it.
Procrastination? Or using the right energy for the right task when it’s there?
Right so yes. 2020, hello. One of my 2020 resolutions is to get back to my personal blog. Weekly. Yeah right. Let's
aim for weekly and be happy with monthly.
For my first post let's do the obligatory look-back-over-last-year. Not because it's trendy (I'm 41 now, I don't care about being trendy any more), but because it's super important for me to understand what I went through and what I achieved last year (every year), otherwise I get caught up in the hamster-wheel of the-next-thing-and-the-next-thing-and-the-next-thing. Progress should be celebrated, not just ignored for the next item on the ever growing, ever pressing TODO list. Also, looking back helps me to plan the next year. Doesn't have to be super-planned, but setting some goals, objectives, ideas for which direction I'd prefer to go in helps me decide how to prioritise that ever-growing, ever-pressing TODO list.
Continue reading "2019"
I didn’t see what an enormous impact Mum made on my life, because she was always there. There’s a quote in the book Good Omens: “It’s for the same reason you can’t see England when you’re in Trafalgar Square” - Mum was a constant, important, dependable presence for my whole life.
I wrote something for Mum while I was on the plane from Spain to spend what was to be our last two weeks together. I’d like to share some of that with you all now.
Continue reading "Me Mum"
This July my Mum passed away, apparently cancer was the one opponent she couldn’t beat in an argument. Mum had a huge impact on my life, as you might expect, not only personally but professionally too. Maybe I’ll talk about that some more in time. For now, I want to publish the poem my very talented cousin Izzi Giles wrote in tribute.
Continue reading "Ode to a Resting Warrior"
When you’re a new speaker, or just starting to consider speaking at conferences or user groups for the first time, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the things you worry about when delivering a talk.
You worry about:
Continue reading "Speaker Tips – Focus on Either Content or Delivery"
For years I’ve avoided talking about the topic of what to wear when presenting. I didn’t want to cover it because I didn’t want people to think that I only worried about this topic because I was a woman. I also didn’t want other women to inherit any of my neuroses around deciding what to wear. I’m the sort of person who always enjoyed thinking long and hard about what to wear the next day at work, and I know that’s not how everyone works.
Continue reading "Speaker Tips – What to Wear"
I realise I have a bunch of experience and advice for speakers and potential speakers that I simply haven’t written down or shared. Here’s the first piece on things to consider that you might not have thought about.
Note: as usual, my advice is from the point of view of a woman (me) and is aimed mostly at women, but also as usual it’s probably useful for others to know too.
Continue reading "Speaker Tips – Wearing a Roaming Mic is More Complicated Than I Realised"
Now I've been speaking at (mostly Java) conferences for a while (six years now), I get asked to present at a lot of conferences. Obviously all these conferences are mostly interested in my terribly educational talks, but it's also because I'm a technical woman and there aren't very many technical women speaking at conferences.
In my experience, conferences want to do the right thing - they want a diverse line up of speakers, they want to attract diverse attendees. Often this is not as easy as it may seem, and frequently conferences are Twitter-shamed for not having enough women speakers. When it gets to this point (and often before), conferences frequently ask me for advice on speakers they could invite, and how to attract more women.
Continue reading "What Can Conferences Do To Attract More Women Speakers?"
Mandatory initial exclamation about how little I have blogged here lately. Over a year without updates, oh dear! But a) I have been blogging quite a lot for the IntelliJ IDEA and Upsource blogs, and b) I had another baby, which kept me quite busy.
So on that topic (more or less) I get a lot of questions about my job: what’s involved in the job, what’s it like working for JetBrains, what does a Developer Advocate do, what’s it like working remotely etc etc. Given I also rather generously1 recently offered to answer people’s questions about my job, I thought the most scalable way was to write-once-read-many, i.e. write it in a single blog post for everyone to read.
Continue reading "Being a Developer Advocate at JetBrains"
So, I wrote a long email to the London Java Community in answer to an excellent question: "What can men do to support Women in Technology?".
It's a bit of a brain dump, by no means comprehensive, and is in answer to a specific question in a specific context, but I've been asked to make the information public so it can be useful in a broader context. So here it is.
Continue reading "What Can Men Do"