Year in Review 2014

date2015-01-01
5 min read

It’s not particularly uplifting, but I thought it was useful to review my year. As is often the case, I’m too lazy for longform, so here’s some lists. I’ll save my hopes for next year for a future post.

Table of Contents

Community (or not)

I did community work, organizing, and activism in the tech community, both in person and online, for roughly the last three years. It took a toll. This was my last year.

  • Several bad things that happened in 2013 still stick with me. I cannot forget, and I have been given no reason to forgive.
  • Attempts to hold people in positions of power accountable for bad behavior ended poorly precisely because of said power.
  • Arguments about code of conducts repeated themselves over and over because every white dude seems to think he deserves an explanation from first principles.
  • The gittip crisis happened. Gittip and others impacted by the ego and ideology of its quasi-benevolent dictator still haven’t recovered. I doubt they will. E.g. they’re getting a lot of flak this week for being disinterested in moderating their community.
  • The harassment of myself and people I care about escalated and became more real for me this year. In April, I wrote Abuse as DDoS. It’s a pretty accurate picture of what the year looked like for some people.
  • As my follower count rose, twitter stopped being a fun place both because of active harassers and supposedly well-intentioned people with very shitty boundaries. My attempts to set boundaries were ignored because people suck.
  • I quit public twitter and deleted my account.
  • I stepped down as the chapter leader of Girl Develop It Pittsburgh.
  • I quit the tech community. It didn’t deserve my effort any more. It wasn’t worth killing myself for such a broken, toxic place. The “meritocracy” deserves itself.

Self-care

Leaving the tech community has been really healthy for me. I have time now for other things that make me happy and fill my time. I have time for self-care. I will be focusing on that more next year.

  • I volunteer with the cats at a local animal rescue. They are adorable, and people should give them forever homes.
  • I tried yoga and liked it (except hot yoga. hot yoga is HELL ON EARTH).
  • I snuggled a bunch with my two cats and watched stupid tv.
  • I started getting back into film, which I had lost interest in for a while.

Writing, comics, and other creative work

The top 5 most popular posts on my blog from this year are:

Speaking

  • I gave my first ever keynote at Open Source Bridge.
  • I gave my impostor syndrome talk at PyCon. The video has over 7,000 hits, and I am so happy that it is helping people.
  • I think it’s about time to retire the impostor syndrome talk.
  • I worked on supporting new speakers through a talk and a workshop. The materials are free to share non-commercially with attribution. At least one person has already reworked them to use in another workshop. I encourage others to do the same.

Work

  • I still work at Google.
  • I got a promotion.
  • I still enjoy the team I work with both for being good programmers and pleasant people to work with.
  • I desperately wish I got more time off. Sadly, 15 days is pretty good for the US, but it’s not as much as I would like for self-care.

The World

Holy fuck, everything is terrible and broken. This year was like bad news after wave of bad news in a tidal wave of doom. I am not going to list it all out here. I have nothing productive to add.

Conclusion

This was mostly a really bad year for me, but things getting that bad pushed me to make some important decisions. I am proud of myself for stepping away from toxic situations and setting myself up for things to be better next year.