Archive for the ‘Autobiographical’ Category

If you were looking to employ someone, what would you say to a candidate like this:

  • highly intelligent, excellent qualifications for the job, 10 years relevant experience, hardworking, ambitious.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? What if she then added:

  • has 2 children, will not work overtime, (although still hardworking during normal working hours)

Perhaps not quite as interesting?

Then if she went on to ask to work 80%?

So the reality is, how many employers turn to the next CV at this point?

Anyway it looks like I am going to be finding out. My experience as a contractor so far is not encouraging.

This week I was finally invited to the architect forum meeting. Ten more or less geeky men, and me. It’s funny, I don’t usually think about the gender imbalance in the software industry much. On this occasion though, I felt distinctly uncomfortable. They all seemed to know each other, and mostly ignored me. They had an annoying habit of spattering their conversation with unidentified acronyms. I left feeling somewhat disheartened.

Later that evening I talked to my husband about the experience, as I often do. Seeing as we both work in the same industry, he generally has helpful comments. This was no exception, even though Geoff is currently at home with the children, enjoying his parental leave. “I understand just how you feel. Today I went to the baby rhythm and song group. Ten women with babies, and me, also with baby. They all seemed to know each other, and mostly ignored me. They tended to talk about breastfeeding and shopping.”

So it could be worse, I suppose.


The full programme for SDC2009 in March will be published in about a week’s time, but I can already tell it will be a great event. The call for papers is now closed, and the website has been updated with photos of all the booked speakers. With only one day of talks, it looks like there will be a lot to choose from.

I’m really looking forward to hearing international software gurus like Jeff Sutherland and Neal Ford, as well as lots of cool people from Scandinavia. Clicking through the photos on the front page, there are several faces I recognize as leading agile proponents. It’s actually a bit of a shock to see my own headshot there in the lineup.


What do you have to do to get me to come and work for your company? Well, it seems a couple of free lunches and some good geeky conversation works pretty well. Of course, it helps if you’re also offering me an exciting mix of software development work, high calibre colleagues and speaking engagements, all on my doorstep here in Gothenburg. So anyway, yesterday I signed on the dotted line for IBS JavaSolutions AB.

JavaSolutions is responsible for the local branch of Sun’s JavaForum, which exists to support Java developers. There are regular meetings with talks and mingle, a bit like GothPy only on Java and without the interactive coding part. Hmm. I might have to do something about that 🙂 JavaSolutions also has a blog that employees are expected to contribute to. So I will have to devise some strategy for what to blog here and what to blog there.

My first appearance in my new role will be at agile2008 in Toronto, Canada, at the beginning of August. I’ll be leading a session about Automated Acceptance Testing with my husband, Geoff. During the rest of the conference I will probably be going to lots of stuff to do with agile development and testing in Java. Having spent the last 6 years working in python, I’ll need to brush up my Java a little.

So I’m looking forward to a fun autumn coding, learning stuff, and getting involved with GothPy and JavaForum. For the moment though, I plan to make the most of the Swedish summer together with two small children.


Miranda was born last Thursday, a healthy little girl 53cm long and weighing 3.77kg. Her big sister Karina, (now three and a half) and Geoff and I are all doing well.

I hope to be at home with Miranda for about 6 months, so I don’t expect to write much here for a while.