I had a nice time writing notes about 2014 last year, so I’ve decided to do it again. 2015 was one of those years where I “learnt a lot”, which is a euphemism for “cried in the toilets a lot”. No matter though, there were some really good bits and things seem quite good now so!
This year a lot of stuff happened in work. Most notably:
- I was promoted to ‘Senior Developer’ at GDS, which was nice. I didn’t tell anyone on the internet that I was promoted because I still feel, even now, that it must have been some kind of mistake [violin emoji]. I guess I naively assumed I’d feel like a senior developer when I was ready to be one but I’m as much scratching my head about code, and work, and people as I ever was.
- I co-started a grass-roots women’s group at GDS. This was something I did because I realised it was really important for GDS and the women there that there was one. The group helped to get some good stuff into reality; proper training for line managers, better understanding and handling of maternity leave, in-person unconscious bias training, a commitment to publishing diversity statistics, and reverse mentoring (where a member of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) is mentored by a more junior person). One notable thing about this whole process was how extremely supportive the SLT was. Initially the group made three requests of GDS, but it was the SLT that told us we weren’t being ambitious enough with them, asking us what else? what else? what else?
- GDS started paying for free Tampons! Not because of the women’s group but because of Tampon Club. This was really not something I was expecting, but it still thrills me to think that that happened and that it was me that made it happen.
- I changed jobs! I left GDS in October to join the Financial Times. I now work for Andrew Betts again. Andrew gave me my first job in London, at Assanka. It’s really lovely to be back with him and the team again. The role at the FT is on their frontend tooling team: Origami. My job is part developer, part advocate. It’s hugely challenging, Origami is a very advanced toolkit for frontend work, it includes services and components, and is used throughout the FT. We’re hiring.
Lachie and I bought a house, we live in it and it’s quite good. I now cycle to work.
Tampon club keeps ticking on. It had its 1st birthday in November, which would have been a good time to show you all the photos people have sent me of their own Tampon Clubs. Except I forgot. I’m still sending out stickers in the post to people, so if you’d like one, get in touch with Tampon Club.
At the beginning of the year I provided Cassie Robinson with some ‘Tampon Club Starter Kits’ for her Civic Shop which was in Somerset House from January to April. Proceeds from sales went to Solace Women’s aid.
I did some research on how much it would cost per woman to pay for tampons during work hours. Surprisingly it’s only £4.28 per woman per year (excluding the cost of getting the tampons into the toilets). I actually ran these numbers a few times because £4.28 is so low. You can see my working here.
I gave two talks about Tampon Club, one at the V&A and one at DareConf’s after party. Both were very fun! I like talking about tampons.
In 2015, off the back of the talks I did in 2014, I did a lot more public speaking, nine talks in four countries. The best thing about speaking at conferences is getting to meet people whose work you’ve admired over the internet. If you’ve been one of those people, thank you! The other best thing about conferences is when you get to float down a river in Texas in a rubber ring, which was literally the happiest I’ve been all year. So a special thanks to Alex and Rebecca for organising that as part of TXJS.
What with moving house sewing took a bit of a hit this year, that said, I did still manage to make a few bits and pieces including a coat that was featured on the Grainline Blog which is quite exciting.