2019 in Review
Looking back at a pretty busy year.· 8 min read ⏱️
I really enjoyed doing my year recap last year, so thought I’d keep it up. It gives me a chance to look over the last year and relive my favourite bits, while figuring out what to go after this year 🙂
First I get to review the goals I had for 2019, and see how those panned out:
- Do more community work/mentoring: I feel like I hit this one two-fold, as over the last year I’ve become an organiser of three community events: Tech Nottingham, Women In Tech and NottsJS; and I’ve been mentoring two lovely people on my team 💛
- Conquer my fear of public speaking: throughout the year I learnt a lot about public speaking, through books, articles and a presentation skills course at work. I think I haven’t quite shaken the fear, but I practiced a bit. I gave short talks at Women in Tech Lightning talks, an internal event at work and at DevOpsDays London; and I gave my first full length talk at Women in Tech in November.
- Learn more about diversity in tech: becoming more involved in Women in Tech Nottingham has been really great! I am also involved with the Women in Tech chapter at work, and have done my best to help out in this area whenever I’ve had the chance 🙂
So all in all, not bad! It’s so hard to tell what’s coming in the year ahead, but I feel I managed to focus on the things I set out to from the start. Now for the month-by-month highlights:
It was a quiet month, a month of getting back into the swing of things, while dealing with the cold, dark weather 🥶
I attended You Got This conference in London, and had such a great time! The talks were awesome, and I managed to squeeze some time with a friend to go out and eat lovely food.
I also had the pleasure of volunteering for New Adventures, a design conference in Nottingham. It had a stellar line up, and I still think about Ethan Marcotte’s closing keynote often, it’s such an important talk.
February was a busy month! Went to a Capoeira event in Chester with some friends, had my family come over for a visit, went to see the Moon exhibit 🌕
Then Thom and I packed our bags and headed to Porto for a few days. I volunteered at NDC, and we spent some time exploring the city. It’s such a lovely place 💛
As soon as I came back from Porto, I shaved my head! I had been thinking about it for a while, so decided to just go for it. Turns out my hair is thin and weird, so I’ve had various “fluffy stages” since then 😅
April was pretty chill. I attended Frontend NE and Women in Tech’s birthday event, where we had a lovely time with lovely cake 🎂
It was also Thom’s birthday, so we went to see the Kendall Mountain Festival on tour. We saw incredible shorts and talks about nature and sports.
This May I turned 30! I used to dread ageing, but I’m luckily at a stage of my life where I’m happier by the day, so I don’t really mind anymore 🤷♀️
We also had our very own Capoeira group’s annual event, and I went to see the Guilty Feminist live with the awesome entourage of Nottingham feminists pictured below 💛
Lots happened in June! Started the month with a weekend of Lindy Hop workshops in Leicester 👯♀️ then I volunteered at Hopper x 1 London.
After that, I spent a week in Oslo, volunteering at NDC and seeing the sights. Then I headed off to Israel for a week of sunshine, beach and Capoeira 🤸♀️
Summer is here ☀️
In July I got promoted! It’s the first time I’ve been promoted, so I was excited for that 🥳
I also had a lovely weekend of camping with friends at Whistlewood Common, in Derbyshire, and took part in the Nottingham Pride parade 🏳️🌈
After all the travel and excitement of the previous 2 months, I was glad to have a quiet August. We spent some time at Thom’s parents’ farm, and chilled out for a bit in the sun 😎
Back to full throttle in September 😅
Thom and I took my nephews to Eden Project for a couple of days, I got my first mechanical keyboard 🤩 and went to Alton Towers on a work outing 🎢
✨ I gave my first (mini) conference talk! I got selected to do an ignite talk at DevOpsDays London, and I didn’t completely blow it 😄
I started October by flying over to Orlando to attend Grace Hopper Celebration. It was quite incredible to see so many women in technology in the same place.
I also visited Harry Potter World ⚡️ at Universal Studios, it was a blast!
To recover from the jetlag, I spent some days in Norfolk with Thom’s family when I came back, and it was lovely out there.
To close the month, I had my first BSL class 👐
Early November was a blur, mostly frantically writing my talk 😅 Why do I sign up for these things?!
Once the talk was safely delivered, I had a couple of weeks of quiet time, punctuated by going to see Fleabag with friends (Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a queen 👸) and going to see The Dollop live with Thom 🙂
✨ I was booked in to speak at Women in Tech long before I became an organiser, and having my first full length talk there was incredibly nice and life affirming 💛
Christmas started early in Nottingham this year, as we hosted the Tech Nottingham Christmas Party on the 2nd, and I think it was a total success.
Then, I headed to Paris with some tech friends for dotJS. We had a good time, and even snuck into our hotel’s ice bar 🧊
Once I was back, I started settling in for a bit of a (much needed) wind down for Christmas, doing very few “productive things” but having lots of time with friends and mulled wine 😄
I also got myself that cute baby ukulele pictured below, can’t wait to learn how to play it.
Wow, we made it!
I still don’t know what I want to do long term. Every few months I toy with the idea of moving into DevRel, but haven’t decided to just yet.
For now, at least for 2020, I want to focus on my technical skills.
I feel like I gave a little bit too much of myself and my time in 2019. It was beneficial and I enjoyed it, but this year I’d like to carve out more time for myself. I’ll most certainly continue mentoring, running the events I do and speaking occasionally, but I’ll do my best not to overcommit.
I want to learn new things, and work on challenging problems. That’s it, gonna keep it simple this year.
As for my personal life, I have more ambitious goals:
- Learn how to play the ukulele and guitar, and some music theory basics.
- Learn to draw, and practice frequently.
- Find a good balance for my exercise routine, and be consistent with it. I’m aiming for a mix of Capoeira, Yoga and weights 🏋️♀️
So if you’ve made it this far, here’s to a challenging 2020! 🥂