2015 was a pretty cool year for me, so I just wanted to write down a few things that have really stood out or made it special.
The year started out with wedding planning, some of it was fun but I’m glad it only went on for a couple of months!
In January we made each others’ rings at a workshop:
Then in March we gave them to each other:
It’s nice to have a husband!
We saw cherry blossoms, rode bullet trains and ate amazing sushi but to pick three really memorable highlights:
We stayed on Okunoshima island and got covered in bunnies!
We had a lot of amazing food in Japan but for us Kobe beef was one of the real highlights
In June I went to DjangoCon EU in Cardiff. I brought my Brompton and went on some lovely rides - Cardiff is beautiful!
At the conference there I also had my first Django Girls involvement, coaching two ladies through building their first website. Then on the train home from Cardiff I got an email asking if I’d like to help organise another Django Girls workshop at PyCon UK. I’ve been going to PyCon UK for a few years and was excited about Django Girls so it was a hard thing to say no to! Three months later, this happened and I was very proud to be a part of it.
One of the things I’m most proud of in 2015 is becoming less afraid of presenting and public speaking. I dipped my toes in the water by giving a short speech at my wedding, and it wasn’t too scary. I also took on a job which involved making quite a few presentations to various boards and groups… I’m not great at it, but hopefully it’s something I can improve on.
After much encouragement from various people I also gave my first conference talk at PyCon UK - this was terrifying and far beyond my comfort zone and there were hundreds of people and I haven’t dared watch the youtube video, but I enjoyed the experience and plan to do more in future. It also taught me a lot about the topic - if you want to learn a lot about a subject, try writing a talk on it!
I spent most of the year working on a project that I really liked, which hopefully will launch early next year. I finished up a couple of weeks ago, mainly because the daily commute to London was driving me crazy and turning me into an angry person. This has happened before and is an unsolved problem for me. I don’t mind London in small doses but I’m not a city person and would never live there, or even any closer than I do now. Unfortunately there is a lot of interesting work in London and I love interesting work. So after a short break I’ll be taking on the challenge of trying (again) to take all those things and figure out something that works.
Coding like a girl
Something that made me really happy in 2015 was meeting more female programmers. A little over a year ago, I didn’t really know any other lady coders and had only ever met a handful (that’s after 15 years of being one). I started going to meetups (again something I found quite scary at first) and got involved with groups like Women who Code, PyLadies and Django Girls and the situation is very different now. I always felt like things were fine on that front but meeting other women in my field has been more of a positive thing than I ever imagined!
Plans for 2016 include more travelling, less commuting, more bike rides, more conferences (and talks)