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So I started a blog

Hayley van Waas | 10th Feb 2020

Just what the internet needed, another blog.

Some background

Hi, I'm Hayley :) I'm a developer. I usually use Python and JavaScript, and many frameworks that go along with them. I am also an educator and evangelist for diversity in tech.

At the moment I live in Perth, Australia, but prior to 2019 I lived in New Zealand. For most of my life I lived in Palmerston North, which is technically a city, but you wouldn't think it if you visited there. It's very much the centre of the farming industry, so everyone in town is usually wearing jandals or gumboots (or no shoes at all) and has a dog on the back of their ute or in their 4WD. This is not me. I am definitely one of the city folk now, I love a good soy chai latte, I love life without a car, and couldn't live without the internet.

I also love running, pilates and going to the gym. But that part of my life was put on hold for a while due to health reasons. I'm just getting back into it now and loving every second of it.

I am a super fan of Taylor Swift, but don't worry, I wont spend this blog talking you into liking her music, but hate on her for any reason and prepare yourself for a lecture on how her life is an amplified version of every struggle every woman has to go through. I am a proud outspoken feminist, and I hope you are too.

I love dogs. It took a while for me to come around to the idea of having one myself (I didn't grow up with pets) but some lovely humans here in Perth have left me in charge of their dogs on several occasions and now I dog-sit all the time! I can't wait to start my own fleet of tiny dogs!

I think the most important thing to know about me is that I love to "maximise fun." It is my biggest life rule. Always take the fun route, always pick the fun example, always look for new and fun ways to bring more positivity to your own life and to those around you. I'd like to think this shines through in the classes I teach, the talks I give, and how I interact with the teams I'm in. I like to use the term "Business Pants", which I define as humans who frequently use many big words to say one small thing, and who, well, wear business pants. Basically, I am as far from Business Pants as you can get. (Not that I care if you are a Business Pants, it's just not me).

I've never really had just one job/role at a time. I get bored really easily so I like to make sure my work life evolves quickly. Usually that involves having a dev role as well as a teaching role at the same time, so some background on that below.

My work in education

In NZ I taught workshops on Programming and Computer Science to school students at every year level, and also to teachers, to help them learn the content they needed to teach their students. I also got to travel around the country teaching people about the new Digital Technologies curriculum that was rolled out across all year levels in NZ schools, and I wrote and created resources for students and teaches learning about Programming and Computer Science.

In 2019 I was lucky enough to find myself in the position of Lead Mentor for the first half of SheCodes Plus, a 6 month course designed to help women transfer to a career in tech, and coordinator for the second half ("Chief Cat Herder" was my preferred title). This was a pretty big learning experience for myself as an educator, so more on that subject to come later.

I love to learn, and I think that is why I love to teach. The best way to get good at something is definitely to teach it yourself, so I don't know how to be a developer without being a teacher at the same time 🤷‍♀️

My work as a dev

I love Python. It is by far my favourite language, and it is the language I always recommend to beginners. I have a lot of experience with Flask and Django. On the other end of things I have had a lot of experience writing little webpages that demonstrate Computer Science concepts, usually written in native JavaScript. I love native JS, its quirks are hilarious and have absolutely made me question all my life decisions as a dev on multiple occasions. Popular frameworks/libraries I've used include Three.js, Node, Vue and React.

Plans for this blog

I've been developing and teaching stuff for a long time, and lately I've been feeling like surely I must have gained some knowledge on these subjects in that time, particularly as an educator. So for this blog I want to share that knowledge. I've blogged in the past, usually on personal things and general life stuff, but for this blog I'd like to focus on the work I do, the tools I've found along the way, the amazing humans I get to work with and/or have helped me along my journey and the advice I give my students.

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