My career. In a time when it is difficult to see my family (they live in Yorkshire 💮) and it is difficult to socialise in ways that we are used to, I have found it valuable to concentrate on my career. I have the privilege to work for several different companies that each support my creative, techy needs in a different way. At Projects by IF, I work alongside some very powerful and intelligent women that inspire me to be confident in my own intelligence. I also enjoy looking through our #resources channel on Slack, a place where employees share relevant articles and resources to our field. My favourite ones from this month are:
- Who owns your face, MIT Technology Review
- Why Computing Belongs Within the Social Sciences, Randy Connolly for Communications of the ACM
- If Privacy Dies in VR, It Dies in Real Life, by Rory Mir and Katitza Rodriguez for EFF
I also work for a social enterprise called Stemettes, during August we ran a virtual academy for young women and non-binary folk to learn about careers in the STEM fields. It has been really fun hosting their events and again, I have had the privilege of meeting some very inspiring #womenintech. My third job (I promise I am not a workaholic) is working for UAL’s Creative Computing Institute, I curate the young people’s programmes for them. During August I have mostly been preparing for the new ‘normal’ term and I am still unsure whether to plan a virtual or physical programme…🤔
My career is one of the only stable things in my life, something that I have created and something that I can depend on and own. I feel very privileged to still have so many opportunities during a pandemic and a recession. Work is constantly challenging me and exposing me to the wonders of creative technology, I never get bored and I have a wonderful, professional network supporting me.
I’ve been thinking about…
How well I have adapted to working from home. I have actually never ‘met’ the Projects by IF team, I was onboarded virtually in July and continue to develop my relationship with the team through pixelated Google Hangout encounters (see below).
Having said that, I have still managed to make my impression. Pre-COVID, a lot of what I did was location-based and involved loads of people. I would run workshops across Europe, teach in schools and universities and install my work in public galleries. It is impressive to know that I am (hopefully) making just as much of an impression on the world virtually. In fact, pre-COVID, I wouldn’t have been able to take on my new role at IF. I work for two hours a day which is the time that I would have usually spent commuting. 🚇 This is not to say that working from home doesn’t come with its downfalls but nonetheless, I am surprised at how resilient us humans are.
I am worrying about…
The digital divide. At the start of the pandemic when schools closed with little notice and most teachings switched to online, I found myself buying my niece a laptop. My sister is a single parent and she lost all of her work when the pandemic hit. I was worried about how my nieces were going to access information and learn without a laptop/computer in the house so I bought them one. This is just one account of how disadvantaged people have been further excluded by technology due to the pandemic. I do believe in technology, but only if everybody has equal access to it and if the products and services that we use are designed with us in mind.
I’ve been watching…
High Score - I LOVE gaming, this series that looks at the history of the industry and some of its influential designers, it was a great watch! 🎮
The Umbrella Academy - A fantastic piece of science-fiction! Shows like this help me escape life’s mundanities and remember that maybe there is a superhero out there trying to save the world while I worry about what to have for breakfast. ☂️
BBC Click - Shoutout to BBC Click. I get most of my weekly tech updates from this easy to digest, 20-minute show. I would like to see more diversity in there though. 👩🏽💻
Thank you for reading and see you next month. 👋