My 2017 Retro

For me 2017 has been a jam-packed year; here’s a look back at a few of the things I’ve been up to and the awesome people who’ve been part of my 2017!

Firstly I’ve been here there and everywhere as a GitHub Campus Expert 🚩, from DurHack in Jan to 24 Pull Requests with codebar in Dec, I’ve been talking, demo-ing, workshopping and mentoring all over and it’s been so much fun ✨.

Shout out to all the Campus Experts and Joe Nash for the community feels!!! 💖

A few of us at Major League Hacking HackConEU in Birmingham, UK this summer.

In terms of research my year has been equally packed with another instalment of the Able Orchestra in February and my work being published at the Audio Mostly conference in the summer, where I got to meet the lovely folks from Chirp. Since then I’ve been working on developing frameworks and meeting people all over the world to talk about accessibility in Digital Instruments 🙌 🎼.

My business cards coincidentally matched the conference colours at Audio Mostly in August… Couldn’t have planned that one better!

My favourite event of the year in my research outings has to be Ableton Live Loop Summit for music makers. It made for some great conversations about technology, music, education and more! Shout out to the lovely Tamara Atanasoska for reaching out to me on Twitter and Céline Dedaj for being an endless source of energy and smiles! ⭐ I tagged on Most Wanted Music Berlin and We Make Waves to my trip to Berlin for Loop and I was so glad that I got to see a little bit of all of these events (despite the clashing schedules). I had an awesome time and got to see friends in the city and have incredible food!

Ableton Loop Summit — a 💯 experience for any music maker/educator/technologist/programmer! ✨

This year also broadened my public speaking profile in a terrifying and exciting manner. I spoke at two major tech events produced by GitHub. The first was GitHub Satellite in London, UK in May; where I gave a talk on why Women in Tech communities matter and what we can do to support them. The second was GitHub Universe in San Francisco, USA; where I gave a talk on my personal struggles with mental health and how we can better help each other’s mental well-being through utilising open source tools and practices.

I am so grateful to have been given these opportunities and can’t thank the lovely folks at GitHub enough for giving them to me. My trip out to the states in October was my first ever trip to America and it was made unforgettable by the people who were part of it.

I even got the chance to tag on the phenomenal Grace Hopper Celebration with Kim Noel (kimcodes) — who was my partner in crime for the whole trip! We rocked the Slack / Lesbians Who Tech party which was without doubt the most fun afterparty we’d ever seen! 🌈 ✨ #QueerInclusiveBadass

My laptop is currently graced with ALL of the stickers from the celebration event. Shout out to the awesome reps manning the stalls at the expo there, we salute you!

Me standing with great words from the legend that is Grace Hopper 💁
Me & partner in crime Kim Noel (kimcodes) on one of many manic uber trips between venues to try and catch EVERYTHING that GHC had to offer!

In my downtime this year, when I wasn’t repping or researching, I enjoyed time with friends.

Me and Kevin had the pleasure of attending Myrsini’s wedding in Greece. Where we also explored beaches and pools with friends. I also tagged on some time with the family of my wonderful friend Tatiana — who gave me the true Greek welcome and tour of all Athens has to offer.

I spent time in Seattle with the wonderful Bety, who showed me the sights and made me incredibly jealous by walking me through the UoW campus! We first met as part of HackSoc at Nottingham University and have continued to be friends that cross timezones!

In Seattle I got my second tattoo, to commemorate my first trip to the states, my speaking at a huge tech event and that “top of the world” feels that it brought to me.

Me & Bety looking casual on campus!
My second tattoo to commemorate my trip ✨

If there is anything this year has taught me, it would be that the joy of living in the moment is unrivalled. Years ago I may have said no to some of the opportunities this year has brought me through anxiety of the “what if”. Taking the chances I have and going with the flow has led me to meeting some amazing folks, hearing amazing stories and seeing awesome things.

Things I enjoyed in 2017:

  • Travelling lots
  • Freddo Cappucino
  • That burger joint Kim Noel (kimcodes)
  • Spending time with Kevin
  • Teaching workshops
  • Talking Research

Things I will try to do in 2018:

  • Sleep more
  • Write more
  • Submit my Thesis 😱 📕
  • Spend time reflecting & being mindful
  • Get back to being healthy!
  • Talk less (to help with the Thesis submission)
  • Learn more coding skillz 😺

To finish I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been part of my year. You are all awesome and I wish you all the best in 2018.

If you’re in London this year and want to grab ☕️ talk tech 💻 or ask me about my research 🎹 then Tweet me @RedRoxProjects 💕

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