I have a BSc from the University of Edinburgh and some portion of a Masters from the University of Ottawa.
I’ve taught programming and developed programming curricula in the UK, US, China and Canada. Coming out this year, I have an academic paper, an educational paper, and an industrial paper.
Stuff that I’d worked on and written about was a conversation starter for two interviewers (one each round) but that was really the extent of it. Perhaps because I’m very open about my research and my interests on my blog, I was connected with someone working on an amazing project when I was training in Mountain View, and my first week in Canada it was suggested I move to that project (which I will do at the end of the month).
I also connected with someone at Google whose blog I follow (Jenny Blake – she writes Life After College and has a book of the same name coming out – Amazon) which was great, I just pinged her on Twitter and we had coffee.
But sharing my human failures, for example when I dropped out of grad school, revealed so much warmth and such great advice from my audience. /fillenumerique/status/36051151917035520″] [blackbirdpie url=” /jonskeet/status/36088674739294208″] Don’t wait for someone to say, “It’s time for you to have a blog.
You have something to say” – I mean, I can tell you that right now, but really you have to convince yourself and believe that you can write something worth sharing, first. Don’t wait for people to tell you what you get to do, go out and make things happen. What I did, was that I got enough out of writing for me that kept me going when no-one was reading, and it was a shock when people started commenting, and emailing me, and sharing what I’d written on Twitter.
So, I said that my “personal brand” didn’t help me get the job, although to be fair it has resulted in people pinging me with interview offers, which I haven’t taken up. Does the number of results you get when you search for me help? But here’s what did: This can seem like the hardest part – and I know because I’m trying to start my internal blog right now and I’m completely overwhelmed by what to write.
One think I suggest to people thinking of starting up a blog is to try and write 4-8 things and schedule them – that’s your first month’s content.
For fun, I’m a qualified ski instructor and I love to kickbox.
I was the Instigator of Awesome at Awesome Ottawa, and I do various things around getting more women into Comp Sci.
I think because I’ve been writing about women in tech and posting talks that I give etc on my website, that made it easier for me to get involved in outreach stuff.
And, setting up a team-mate on a date via Twitter certainly piqued the interest of my colleagues!
At first Twitter seems like talking to yourself in public. I was getting enough out of it that it was worth writing for myself, but now I have a good amount of subscribers and get comments on about half of my posts.