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Now Offering Coaching

Recently, I've been getting requests from women who are either in tech or transitioning to tech. They want to know how I created my freelancing business, traveled the world as a digital nomad, and how I deal with sexism and imposter syndrome. I'd love to help you get paid what you're worth, fight imposter syndrome, reduce stress, overcome any doubts about your ability to up your tech skills, and give you a pep talk to go after the positions and salary you want! I work on a sliding scale, so please don't let cost be a barrier. Reach out to me at the contact page. If you're a member of Women Tech Network you can sign up for their excellent mentoring program and pick me!

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Freelancing & Digital Nomadding: Two talks by me

Freelancing & Digital Nomadding: Two talks by me

In February, I was pleased to be invited to give a talk with the title "Digital Nomadding in the Time of COVID" at the 2022 Laracon. You can watch the full talk below (and then hop around if you want to hear other people sharing great information about Laravel, my PHP programming platform of choice. It's been an interesting time to be a digital nomad to say the least, and I talked about the differences between traveling while working in 2019 and doing so in 2021-22. Next month, I'll be presenting a talk at the WomenTech Network Global Conference with the title "Freelancing as a Ticket to Travel." I'll discuss my experiences as a digital nomad and software developer over the past few years, during which I've spent time in 12 countries. In this talk, I'll be giving focus to special issues for women as freelancers and travelers. I have a complimentary ticket to the full WomenTech conference that I would like to share with one of the people (randomly selected) who comments here or at my...

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SXSW Highlights

In November of last year, I learned that a talk that a colleague and I had submitted to the SXSW conference had been accepted and we would be on the agenda for the March 2022 event. Our track was "2050" and our talk would be "Jedi Tech: A look back from 2050."As some of you know, I spent two years helping a wonderful non-profit called The Institute for Love and Time (TILT) build a fascinating app called "Time Machine." The head of TILT (Dr. Julia Mossbridge) introduced me to startup founder named Josh Lengfelder who had created an app called Randonautica, which sends people to not-so-random locations based on a prompt they enter. We spoke about our discoveries and our predictions and hopes for the future. You can watch our full talk online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvxPpJcm-kM Or listen to it at the SXSW site. As you can see, we had a good time talking with people about expanding their notions of what apps and games can be. I loved going to other talks about tech and space and...

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Dubai

Dubai

"The Vegas of the Middle East" I was supposed to go see a friend in Oman but unfortunately she got Covid and I was out of time to reschedule. So I tacked a few extra days onto Dubai. This turned out to be a wise decision, as it was a city of huge proportions and endless activities, especially as the 2020 World Expo was still happening, as it too was postponed by Covid. My hotel room was situated to see the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa, from my window, as well as the river that ran between my part of town and the main downtown. I immediately had to go see Burj Khalifa of course, and was pleased to find that public art was part of the scene. I also needed to make a pilgrimage to the famous Mall of the Emirates, which is so big that it contains a SKI SLOPE. Since I knew I would be landing in a few days in Colorado where several inches of snow would greet me, I decided I didn’t need that particular experience! I took a night boat tour and got to see crazy hotels and resorts,...

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Más España

Más España

Any reasonable, sentient person who looks at Spain, comes to Spain, eats in Spain, drinks in Spain, they’re going to fall in love. Otherwise, there’s something deeply wrong with you. This is the dream of all the world.    ― Anthony Bourdain Palacio de Cibeles, Madrid Madrid What a city! Woke up our first morning to this view from our balcony, looking down la Gran Via: And the architecture just kept knocking my socks off! Top: Edificio Metrópolis. Middle: Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena. Bottom: Apartment building near Chamartin neighborhood. Below: The grand bull ring, Plaza de Toros. And the museums, my word: A wonderful Magritte exhibit was on at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza. And art was not just in the museums. Here's just one section of the ceiling in the Catedral Almudena. And these are the steps just to get into the Museo Sorolla: The menu in Madrid is very carb-and-sugar laden, and I wondered how the Madrileños stay fit. Here's one answer: the parks are...

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Travel Update: A Spanish Holiday

Travel Update: A Spanish Holiday

It was a heavenly time of life When first I went to Spain, The lovely land of silver mists, The land of golden grain.. ― Ellen Mackay Hutchinson Cortissoz The view from Gibralfaro Castle down into the town of Málaga, with seasonal clouds. ¡Viva Valencia! In mid-December we flew from Dammam to Valencia, via Frankfurt. We chose Spain for Adrian's winter break for a few factors: it has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, we each speak a little Spanish, and we would have decent temperatures in which to look at beautiful sights. Sipping sangria in the sun with a sublime regional salad, surrounded by chatting Spaniards, was a perfect alliterative start to our holiday. Valencia's architecture is a wonderful mix of beautiful classic and daring new: Top: One of many fountains in many squares. Middle: Science Center. Bottom: Opera House. We visited museums filled with inspirational art and crafts from across the centuries: Even the food market was artistic! And of course,...

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Travel Update: A Southern Interlude

Travel Update: A Southern Interlude

I recall my fleeting instants in Savannah as the taste of a cup charged to the brim. ― Henry James This spring, once Covid vaccines were available, I started talking with my Dad about celebrating his 90th Birthday in person, with as many family members as we could. We went back and forth on the wisdom of it, but in the end decided to go for it, utilizing the outdoor space of his favorite restaurant and asking folks to get tests. I flew back from Dammam in mid-November, a 30 hour journey from apartment to Jacksonville hotel, with stops in Doha and New York City, and PCR tests coming and going. I had a long layover at JFK, and my friend Z and her daughter came to see me and check out the groovy re-imagined TWA Flight Center: The future, as imagined in 1960 My motivation for the long trip was high. This was the first time in 45 years that all 6 children from my father's first two marriages were all in the same room. We were joined by my step-mother, two of her children, a grandchild and...

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Smartphone Time Machine!

Smartphone Time Machine!

I'm happy/pleased/proud to announce that a very cool study I've been a part of on has been published this week in Frontiers in Psychology. The paper, on which I'm a co-author, is titled "Smartphone Time Machine: Tech-Supported Improvements in Time Perspective and Wellbeing Measures." Let's break that down! Tech-Supported: I've been working with a team of scientists and creators for almost two years now on an app called Time Machine. The app allows people to engage in “time travel therapy” by recording and listening to audio messages they leave for their past and future selves. We've gotten financial support from the forward-thinking Pioneers project at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. We used a participant-focused co-design process, which means we set up our process with the intention of getting feedback from our participants and creating iterations of the app based on their notes and questions and ideas. In all we had 96 design partners use and weigh in on the app's usefulness....

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Travel Update: A Trip to Al Hofuf

Travel Update: A Trip to Al Hofuf

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world. ― Gustave Flaubert Caves, Souqs, Date Trees Al Hofuf, Saudi Arabia, is a one-hour train ride from Dammam. Al Qarah Rock Formation The region is known for its prolific date production. We were told there are millions of date and palm trees in the area, and we saw proof of this everywhere we went. The big draw of the trip (besides just going anywhere besides the compound!) for me was the promise of cool rocks and caves. And Al Qarah "Mountain" delivered!   Souqs We also had a chance to visit a souq, a traditional market. We got there too close to prayer time, so there weren't as many stores open or people there, but I enjoyed witnessing some good bargaining going on by a trio of ladies!   Below a delicious array of hummus flavors (strawberry, garlic and mint!). My goal is to make a tour of hummus throughout the Middle East! We went to a more modern market in the evening. Left is us enjoying a bizarre...

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The Weather and What I Wear

The Weather and What I Wear

The ship is safest when it’s in port, but that’s not what ships were built for. ― Paulo Coelho Heat, Humidity & Sand Many people presume that all of Saudi Arabia is an arid desert. But Dammam is on the East coast of KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), across the water from Bahrain and northwest of Qatar, so it actually gets plenty of humidity. Today for example, I woke up to 78% humidity. But only 1% chance of rain! Extra humid my first morning here, after a cyclone in Oman! When I first arrived, temperatures were in the high 90s during the day, but they have already dropped down to low 90s, and will continue to drop for the next couple of months. I’m soooo happy that we didn’t get here in July, when the temperatures can get to 120. I was a bit nervous, as in Thailand two years ago the heat knocked me out for a couple of weeks. But I’m happy to report I’ve adapted pretty quickly, and I’m already calling 80 “nice and cool.” That said, I take my daily walks first thing in the morning,...

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