Writing again

For various reasons I stopped blogging properly a while back (not as long ago as the last entry here might suggest but… yeah it’s been some time) – partly because the ever present disdain for (and discomfort with) my online voice got a bit overwhelming, partly because I was just tired and changing jobs and realising how broke I actually was.

Maybe as result of this, maybe as a result of some other weirdness going on in my head – and goodness knows there’s plenty of it – maybe just because, I also slowed massively on my writing output. Actually, what’s interesting is that this went hand in hand with a decline in reading and that was as much because I hated being thrown into the depths of either melancholy (if it was really good) or irritation (if it was mediocre to poor).

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A day of Girl Geekness in Manchester

A day of Girl Geekness in Manchester

Around early May there was a certain something, a frisson disturbing the still waters of online girl geekdom. A new javascript framework? A working implementation of Quantum Computing infrastructure applied to knowledge mapping Big Data sets? Bless you, no – the Manchester Girl Geeks Barcamp was back!

I’ve been attending the Manchester Girl Geeks barcamps since 2013 and they’ve pretty much become one of the highlights of my year. Each one gets better and better – I get to listen to a variety of fascinating topics, meet very clever and hardworking women from a wide range of backgrounds and get to eat amazing cake.

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This year obviously I had to travel up from Warwick which meant getting up ludicrously early on a Saturday following a very tiring and stressful week. Still I arrived on time, even though it seemed not that many others did. Anyway, undeterred I checked out the speakers already signed up on the board and took a comfortable seat ready for the launch of what promised to be a day of girl geek amazingness. Not least because we were given adorable mini hemp goodie bags (obviously I took a purple one).

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In which a Hackathon is actually won

I’ve developed something of a craze for hackathons, probably not helped by signing up to the Hackathons and Jams meetup group. I used to enjoy the prospect of being part of a team and creating new projects but after a particularly painful experience, my attitude now is more about exploring the free technologies on offer and messing about with new APIs.

Such was my philosophy when I signed up for the NBCUniversal Comcast hackathon. Having attended a talk held by Ladies Who Code London during which Mairead Buchan @tiny_m gave a really nifty demo of using leapmotion as a means of interacting with the web, so I was quite keen to get my hands on one and have a go hacking about with javascript. As it was, I did indeed end up on a team (doing a hackathon can be a real boost to the self-esteem, for those of us unused to being in demand!) and by the end, I was actually very happy to do so.

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