2022 in Review

An eventful 2022

As with any period of time there have been highs and lows over the last 12 months. It has been personally and professionally challenging, but challenge leads to growth.

Being clinically vulnerable the last few years have been challenging, but this year even more so for my mental health. I am advised to still avoid enclosed spaces, where my mask in open spaces and not to use any form of public transport. This means I’m still working from home, and won’t be going to conferences any time soon. To the most part this is ok; as I like being at home and keeping to myself. It can be hard however. With the majority of people getting back to pre-pandemic normal, there is less sympathy for my situation. I get called “paranoid” just for putting my own health first. I am watching as great events happen that I know I can’t take part in (which is great, I’m glad they are back and doing well; it’s just a bit of FOMO). I worry that I am not contributing the way I used to; not living up to my past expectations.

In addition to this I lost family and close friends to cancer early this year. This all seemed to happen at once and hit me very hard at the time.

There is a silver lining to every cloud however. I have an amazing support system in terms of family, friends and the tech community. Claire, the Community Program Manager for MVPs and RDs in the UK and Ireland, helped put me in touch with The National Museum of Computing to arrange an event in memory of my friend Paul Vernon. Paul was passionate about introducing people into STEAM topics and getting them passionate about tech. Through donations we raised enough money that The National Museum of Computing could run a half term event getting families to take part in fun STEAM activities. It was a great way to commemorate Paul, and it means the world to me that Claire and Jacqui made it happen.

Professionally I’ve also gone through some changes. I have recently left the Ministry of Justice and joined NewDay as a Principal Architect. I’m still going through the new job jitters, but this work place presents new challenges and problems to solve. Again, I get to work with some fantastic people and I’m looking forward to growing into this role.

I’ve also joined the board of the .NET Foundation this year. It’s a lot of work, but my fellow board members are very supportive and I’m enjoying working with them. It was a surprise and honour to have been elected to the position and I will do my utmost to fufil my duties in the role.

Looking to 2023

Next year is a big and eventful year.

The new organisation committee for DDD East Midlands Conference are already working hard to make the 2023 event epic. We are putting precautions in place so that even people restricted like myself will be able to attend safely. This may annoy some people with inconvienience but as we are all passionate about making the event accessible and enjoyable to as many as possible we are taking that risk. There are more peripheral events happening, including mentorship events. It’s definitely an event to be excited for (and for your company to sponsor).

I’m hoping that I will find my rhythm in my new role soon and take the opportunities I can to grow, learn and do great work in 2023 as well.

There are some other things happening which are exciting which I won’t be sharing on here, but I can’t wait for.

Just like this year, I have no doubt that 2023 will have highs and lows. With challenge comes opportunity and experience. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.