Looking back at 2016

Looking back over the last year

I started the year by attending a BCS Women showing of CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap. For many this film covers familiar ground. Having people’s experiences set out in single place is not a bad thing

February saw me having a little play with three.js as part of a MOOC on 3D Graphics for Web Developers. Me taking the course was as much about having a look at the Future Learn platform as the course.  I like the little reminders of how far into the course you are. It does help in keeping you motivated. On the content side, I did get a nice taster of three.js. I would like to experiment more with three.js

March was me taking time out of my day job to attend At Scale London. Facebook put on a great show. If you get the opportunity you should visit their offices. Always nice to hear what problems other are running up against working at scale and how they solved them.

The last day of March was also my last day at Skype London. After three and a bit years. Happy to working on new things but sad to leave so many friends behind.

1st April saw me join a startup, Clearmatics based by London bridge. Using blockchain for bank settlement. Blockchain is something I have been keeping an eye on even before moving to London. First with Bitcoin and later with Ethererum.

The first thing I worked on was a proof of concept for the real time pricing a portfolio of FX swaps using a blockchain. This was in partnership with OpenGamma and demonstrated at the QuanTech conference. Nice to work on something and get it in people hands  so fast.

I turned up to the first London Ethereum Codeup. Makoto has created a great atmosphere for learning more about applications on Ethereum. Very much recommended.

In an already busy month I also participated in Trans*Code. Working with a few folks,  we managed to produce ToBeReal over the course of the day.

May saw Clearmatics moving offices, over the river to Blackfriars on Ireland Yard. We even took a team photo:


Getting up one morning, I was very lucky with the light

June was the first Rail Girls London event of the year. I gave a talk on recruitment in tech.


Rails girls is always fun but exhausting in a good way. A great place to learn to code.

July saw me talking the quick trip over the Thames to Level 39 for a workshop on the interledger protocol. An interesting day thinking about some of the problems with getting blockchains to talk to each other.

August was a big month. Clearmatics was on the front page of the Financial Times.

The article was talking about the consortium Clearmatics is part of and the project we are part of.

Monzo finally release their Android app. So I headed to office at old street to get my card. They lived up to the hype. Great user experience.

September saw me mentoring at the Thomson Reuters HackETHon. I even found the time to work on Blockhooks,  Webhooks from Ethereum events.

I swapped my Nexus 5X for a Pixel XL. This gave me a good increase in battery life. My main complained about the 5X. I also picked up a Daydream VR headset

November saw me flying out of London City Airport for the first. The place is tiny but take off (and landing) is fun. The reason for the  trip was mentoring at the Dublin blockchain hackathon. I was very tired by the end of weekend but great seeing what everyone produced. 50% of the people were from outside Ireland, a few even came over from the US.

Kevin wrote a good overview of the weekend and some photos of the weekend.

Later in the month. Rails Girls London has another event, with me speaking again. This time on knowing enough to be dangerous.

Then some sad news. Microsoft announced Skype London was closing. Most people have new jobs but I was sad to hear that the office wouldn’t be around longer.

I started December with studying From Nand to Tetris. Good to get back to some low level coding and working on hardware. This is a great course/book/website. Recommended to anyone who wants to know more about the inner working of a CPU.

I finished up the year with a ride in a Tesla Model S from Hoopoe-Electric.  The lack of engine noise is the first thing that you notice, then all the power. Go for a ride in one if you get the chance.