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"
It's been a while since I wrote a conference write up. The short version of "why" is because I got a bit bored of doing it. Plus, I found I was attending conferences as a speaker "on the circuit", and my experience of hanging out, catching up with my friends, chatting to other attendees to see what they're up to and so forth, didn't seem as useful to share with people who might want to find out whether a conference is worth attending from a content or atmosphere point of view.
But I feel compelled to blog about JavaZone. I presented there back in 2013, but every year since then haven't made it for one reason or another (the fact that it's near my birthday in no way impacts my scheduling…). I made the effort this year, and I'm so pleased. Now I've been to many more conferences, of various sizes, various themes, all around the world, and I can definitely state that JavaZone is up there as one of the best conferences around.
Continue reading "JavaZone 2016"
So I came to the blog to update my upcoming events (at least something stays up to date) only to find it's been nearly a year since I last blogged! This is terrible!
It's not that I haven't written anything in a year, it's that a lot of my writing energy goes into stuff for the actual day job. Which is good, because that's pretty much what I wanted from the day job, but the blog makes it look like I don't write any more.
So I'm going to cheat. Here's the stuff I've written in the last 12 months.
I've also done a bunch of screencasts & webinars for IntelliJ IDEA, Upsource and Team City.
Oh yeah, and I had a baby. I'm contemplating blogging about being a working parent, but I'm a bit concerned that Of Course a woman is going to blog about Being A Mother, when previously I just blogged about... well, come to think about it I blogged about all sorts of things, including haircuts and hangovers, so I guess I could probably get away with it.