Category Archives: Personal

What did I do in New York?

After EmpireJS (more on it later) I have spent a couple of days in New York. This is what I have done:

  • walk
  • wait for elevators
  • spend time in an elevator
  • walk stairs down, because elevators take so long
  • walk
  • read
  • walk some more
  • look at buildings
  • take a ferry
  • walk
  • look at some art
  • walk
  • drink coffee
  • walk
  • drink more coffee
  • visit old haunts
  • browse books. buy a poetry book
  • drink even more coffee
  • walk
  • cross a bridge
  • take the subway
  • lunch with a friend
  • walk
  • coffee with friends
  • nothing
  • eat pizza
  • walk

Random thoughts on a day off

I didn’t take all my holidays in 2014 (gasp!) and there’s a UK company policy that mandates that you either take the remaining days before the end of March or they are gone. GONE FOREVER. Can you believe that?

In light of this and the fact that I actually need to chill down or then I get burn out, I already took some holidays in February, but there was this float day left… and so here we are, on this random Friday which I have taken off.

What do you do when you have a day off? Some people might have done a 3 day trip, but I am traveling so much lately that my only wish is to remain as moderately stationary as I can. I could have planned some activity in London. But that would go against the whole purpose of chilling down and not having the brain in ‘work’ mode. So I didn’t plan anything other than: I would just do whatever I felt like doing when I woke up.

I had breakfast. Then it was sunny. I went to the park. There are some flowers already! Spring is coming, there’s no denying it: I didn’t need to wear a hat or anything for the first time in mooonths. I even wore my sunglasses. Amazing!

I went to a cafe I hadn’t been before. The coffee was pretty terrible but the place was lovely. I have become a coffee snob and I must live with that now. Agh.

I checked twitter. Tracy was mentioning that her cellphone is smashed and technophiles were looking at her judgmentally in the plane:

As a person who loves to wear her possessions down until the point that they are faded out and scratched and all, I see no problem on that…

And this reminded me of a conversation I had with Jen a while ago, where we talked about this kind of people who, when hearing that you make music, start questioning your instrument of choice:

Wow, you use Reason? How can you get anything good out of it?

Then they would start enumerating all the gear in their home studio and how so much better it is than whatever you use. And then we would interrupt them because we’re dead bored of this attitude already, and ask them:

Yes, and where’s your music? What have you MADE with all that gear?

Blank stares, of course. Cataloguing rather than making.

Don’t catalogue. Go make something! Or go outside! It’s a beautiful day! :-)

Moving to the evangelism team

As of yesterday I am in the evangelism team at Mozilla, also known as tech evan / dev rel / what have you. Essentially, spread the word about all the amazing stuff in Mozilla products and also help people build awesome stuff on the Web.

There’s lots of things we want to do, and I’m excited! I also have to go to the Web Components meetup, so I’ll leave you with Potch’s own announcement, as he’s moving to that team too:

“All hearts beating as 1″

Over the last year and a half I’ve had the opportunity to meet tons of amazing non-white male individuals in the tech industry. It’s been an extraordinary experience to feel, sometimes, that I am not the only one of my kind in the industry, despite having been the only woman in the room for many years in many offices, meetings and other events.

I’ve learnt from their code and their approaches, laughed with their satire, empathised with their personal issues, shared experiences over local food, listened to their local customs, compared them to mine, felt uncomfortable, learnt from this discomfort and understood that not everything is as simple as we think or tacitly accept it is. They are strong, and fragile, and stout, and delicate, and complex, and different, just as I am different from them. This diversity not only has shocked me and my stupid preconceptions and biases, it has also made me grow, and I cannot stress this enough–they’ve made me a better person than I was.

I hardly see most of them in person because we live so far apart, but we still connect online, here and there. Social networks, blogs, meatspaces. I like knowing they are there, sharing the little joys that make them smile, supporting them wherever I can, them supporting me when I feel down, being part of this spontaneous network.

Thank you for being there. I heart you all.

Being a minority in tech is exhausting, consuming, destroying. Unless you’re in one of these minorities, you have no idea of the immense pressure that is applied over you, from every direction, every day. Microcuts, microaggressions, “innocent” comments loaded with double meanings which end up engendering feelings of self doubt and inadequacy. Gross comments. The trolling. I have seen the breakdowns, and they are not pretty. There’s only so much one can handle. Despite all the pressure and impossible requirements we’re supposed to fulfill, we’re just humans, after all.

There’s no week in which I don’t heard of “some episode” from my close circle of IT friends. Most of them never go public. But they are there. They happen.

This week has been incredibly shitty.

I want to keep learning from all these new found friends in the future. I want you to learn from them too. I want them to keep being who they are, and not retreat into a shadow of themselves because they are scared. I want to see this minority grow until it’s just not a minority anymore, and just plain boring normality. Help us make this possible. Watch this:

And watch it a second, and a third time. Internalise the message.

And do something about it.

Short on time? Here’s some CJ quotes:

  • “All change starts with yourself”.
  • “How you act is what your values are”.
  • “Hire someone who doesn’t look like everybody else in your team”
  • “I need you to do something that I can’t do. Stop bad behaviour when you see it.”

And my personal tip: it starts with shutting up, and listening. Really listening.

PS title taken from jen‘s tweet:

From Webcam to Animated GIF: the Secret Behind!

I wrote a guest post for David Walsh’s blog! Here’s it: From Webcam to Animated GIF: the Secret Behind! Read it if you want to find out how to make GIFs with your webcam in JavaScript.

David asked me if I could write this article past year in November. I very clearly remember reading the email at an insane hour while I was jetlagged in Vancouver, right after CascadiaJS had finished, but I have been busy with approximately 18912731823 other things in the meantime. There were also browser bugs to be isolated and fixed, so it’s been a bit of time since then.

It’s funny that I’m flying back to Portland for CascadiaJS and then Vancouver again next week.

Well, actually it’s not funny, it’s thrilling. Yay!

See you there if you’re there, or see you here when I’m back! :-)