MOOC‘s have been a good development for me. Not convinced they’ll be a revolution in education as you still need access to broadband, a computer and free chunks of time but they have provided a good way for me to study.
I started off playing it safe with subjects close to my day job, Android development, image and video processing, before branching out into machine learning and started learning about data science type things.
Going to conferences seems to have been one of my big themes for the year: Codefest London #1, London Lean Kanban Day 2014 (already signed up for 2015), PrimeConf (one of the highlights of my year), A nice tparty event (nothing to do with right wing politics) in the Oxo Tower, Dots, DareConf (which was a bit of a wildcard for me but turned out to be an amazing experience, if you get the chance to go, do), Playful 2014 (this was my second year. the highlight was playing Gang Beasts, multiplayer chaos which reminds me of Bomberman (Dynablaster Revenge is a good version for Windows)), Meaning 2014 (Mark Stevenson opening talk and Iain Chambers’ story of Exeter Street Hall are both worth a watch, if I had to pick only two). I found the great Agile Practitioners meetup, after a tipoff from someone at DareConf.
I didn’t just turn up to other people events: I was part of the group who presented to the head of Microsoft UK, Michel Van der Bel (and the head of the civil service, Sir Bob Kerslake who was shadowing him that day)
Ended up stepping in to facilitate May’s Procedural Audio Now meetup (which reminded me of how much I missed working on BathCamp and the ideals and interesting people). Talked about Gender and User Experience (and did lots of background reading)
Getting the feedback that a number of companies had changed their approach because of the event is properly what I’m most proud of having helped with in 2014.
This led to being a mentor at Rails Girl London (and having to learn rails quite quickly) and a judge at the first DigiGirlz London event (all the 10-12 year old were scary good).
It wasn’t all work. I went to my first sci-fi convention, Nine Worlds (which was great but a little overwhelming), A very posh works Christmas party at the Banking Hall, another party at the very fun Loading Bar (and being reintroduced to how much fun Micro Machines on the SNES is multiplayer) and rounded off with my first #techsmas.
Roll on 2015