2017 Recap (Yes, It’s that Time of Year)

Once reviewing the monthly breakdown of my 2017, it felt like it could be split into halves of defining moments or triads. Went with the thirds breakdown this time around, a quiet start, taking a break/dealing with a little bit of burn out and recharging for 2018 … read on for some rambling

JAN — APR : “The Wind Up”

Late 2016 into the start of 2017 place me in a new position assisting co-organizing the first ‘networking night’ (it was a Saturday afternoon due to distance away from downtown) of WomenWhoCode Portland at Washington State University-Vancouver with a look into what the Creative Media & Digital Culture students were cooking up (hint: Virtual and Augmented reality!). This began due to my tie with WWC and the corresponding major I completed in college but at the Vancouver campus.

For fun stuff, did a group terrarium class at the end of January and only one of three plants withered away. Figure it might need a name now that it’s coming up on one year old. Around this time, I also hit a year of current employment as a Support agent! Now two years are sneaking up… It was a pretty quiet winter into spring especially due to a few bouts of snow and ice in Portland leaving me stuck at home for a few days here and there.

Near the end of spring, I tossed out a few applications to get my job feelers out there. Completed a few interviews, felt good about most of them, unfortunately they all ended in no’s but a good experience to practice again. To combat the down slope of no’s, I started a workout series that lasted a good month or so until my rotator cuff/shoulder got a bit too sore for workouts and took some time off…

MAY — AUG: “Take a Break Sometimes…”

The next few months of the year, there was some personal upheaval plus burnt out on forcing to learn to code it was time for a little break away. I still found ways to be involved with teaching others at work (I became a team lead!) and assisting with volunteering with Women Who Code more regularly. At this moment, I felt I hit a wall with learning and had to take some time to reinvigorate my brain to enjoy the fun part of building with code again.

Early May, the annual girl’s trip with my mom began with Cinco De Mayo and and heading out to the coast for some glass float searching. Sadly we did not find any on the actual beach but we weren’t going to leave own without one as you can buy older years collections at local glass blowing shops. A couple weeks later was the Humane Society’s Doggie Dash downtown. I had originally signed up for the 5k but was ultimately rained out to the small loop walk. The one time I was happy to have an umbrella on hand. Memorial weekend was also quite eventful getting out and about, visited back home with some great weather to climb a winter snowmobile trail in a CR-V (not planned!), drove a UTV around said mountain, and cruised on a lake on a pontoon boat.

June began with my birthday, a surprising decorated desk, and minimal plans which was alright with me. That weekend was my second 5k of the year, a Black Light run with some friends and a nice change of pace in the coolness of the evening rather than mornings.

This is where I count the official turnaround of my involvement of women in tech for the year and onward. Not only attending my second ACT-W conference, volunteered at and celebrated 3 years of events with the rest of the Women Who Code crew (announced who I was in front of 300 attendees?! trust me that is nerve wracking enough), and asked to co-lead our JavaScript study nights! Obviously, I said yes.

July was definitely a reorganizing month for me. Broke a lease and moved at the end of the month (yes again) to a house full of animals (no complaining there). A long weekend around the fourth of July ended the months long countdown to visit Seattle with my family and see Queen with Adam Lambert. I find it much more fun to go to concerts where you can sing along to 90% of the songs, props to middle school me to listening on repeat. I didn’t takethe full month off of tech stuff though, how often can you say your face was printed on a donut? Just like summer’s off from school, the end of August ushered into my first leading of the JS Study Night with a JavaScript 101… which went okay in my mind, but know what to work on in the future.

SEPT- DEC: “Recharged”

After the time off in the summer and a futile attempt at#100DaysofCode thinking it would make me more accountable, the timing wasn’t quite right, I had also noticed after reviewing some older projects and lack of commits to my Github, I was looking for a way to comeback and begin learning again.

One of these intros back was signing up and accepting a spot as a coach for Django Girls in October! Despite minimal Python and Django experience, my group was able to work as a team to fix bugs in our code as we went along. Summer fun wasn’t totally over with yet, there were still more coast trips driving and a spontaneous camp trip to keep balance of taking breaks in check. The last trip to the coast for the year was in October for the WWC Portland leadership retreat to get out of town and focus on planning to the next year.

November ushered in a revised plan for utilizing Free Code Camp again for continued learning to code and to do this I created a new account, reset my progress, and am keeping a side document for tracking progress. This time around I have been able to recall concepts to complete the beginning algorithm section a bit quicker and more makes sense. This is also giving me a chance to revamp old projects to produce cleaner code and review changes APIs might have made since I first made them. Right before the holidays began, and with the JS study night on break till 2018 (the nights usually conflicted), I was able to attend my first DonutsJS, hearing about some interesting projects and dreaming up a lightning talk I can do for next year maybe.

Just like the anniversary party in the summer, there is an annual Women In Tech holiday party, with not only WWC but including PyLadies, ChickTech, PDX Women In Tech, and many more. Holy cow, so many people attended! It was a bit overwhelming for an introvert like me, but it’s on my 2018 goals to improve in situations like that and reaching out in general…

You got this far?? Okay, well… some 2018 Goals/Thoughts (code and otherwise)

  • When signing up for lightning talks, practice more effectively (already have one slotted out for JS night :O)
  • Share more what I’m working on for accountability/transparency (more posts??), i.e. knitting/craft projects, outdoorsy time, and of course tech related
  • Proper internalizing and rewarding self similar to Donut Manifesto and also used to combat imposter syndrome..
  • intersect being a ‘maker’ with crafts and tech, wearables maybe?
  • as always, plenty of side projects! might include some open source contributions