Hello! I know the very lovely Charlotte did a mini interview with me, and most of you on twitter will already know me pretty well, but I thought I’d use this opportunity to tell you a bit more about me.
There’s work Gemma
I’ve been enthralled by computers from a very young age. I chose my GCSES and ‘A’ Levels for my chosen degree in Computer Science. I graduated in 2005 from Salford University. I started at Aerosystems International soon after on the graduate scheme as a Software Engineer. I got to work on very cool projects (like Mission Planning Software for Apache Helicopters) but more excitedly was introduced to concepts such as Continuous Integration and Test Driven Development as well as Software Testing and Java Development. Suddenly all the stuff I’d learned at uni came into its own and I realised that, actually, I was a pretty good developer. After 10 months I moved back up North to work for BAE SYSTEMS in Lancashire. I got to work on a couple of fantastic projects, even managed to get along to support Farnborough Airshow! Alas in early 2010 I saw a tweet from @jbjon for a job in Nottingham. I went for an interview and was sold. I moved to Nottingham and started at Esendex in March 2010. I’m learning something new every day with truly brilliant and passionate people.
There’s girl geek @ruby_gem
My first introduction to the digital community was at GeekUp Manchester in either 2006 or 2007. Since then I have attended and sometimes spoken at local user groups, barcamps all over the country and even started to organise a few events myself. I founded GeekUp Preston, ran Manchester Girl Geek Dinners, organise the annual Barcamp Blackpool (on its third year) and am a member of the North West Digital Community. Since moving to Nottingham I have launched GeekUp Nottingham (more soon), helped out with Nottingham Girl Geek Dinners, chair Nottingham Digital Community and organising East Midland’s first barcamp (more to come soon). Aside from that I have an addiction to twitter.
There’s Ruby on Rails
As many evenings as I can spare, but at least every Wednesday and Saturday I skate. Before I moved to Nottingham I used to spend most evenings sat on my bum. Occasionally I’d go to my friend’s roller discos and do the occasional street skate (bit of a hangover from the 80’s and 90’s when I needed transport), that was about it. Then I moved to Nottingham and it all changed. I started doing some skating on my inlines with the Nottingham Skaters. We’d skate about 12-15 miles in 2 hours and end up at Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. I was crap. I wore out a hill brake every session and we don’t have hills like that on the Fylde Coast, I tell thee! Whilst down here I also joined the Nottingham Roller Girls. We are Nottingham’s original Roller Derby Team. I’ll do a whole post on Roller Derby, but needless to say I am addicted. I’ve popped my bouting cherry earlier this year, set for my second bout in September and am on track to beat my time skating an entire marathon at the Goodwood Roller Marathon in August. It’s so much fun I don’t even realise I am exercising. Suddenly i have discovered muscles, fitness and a thirst to improve as a sports woman. It’s quite magical.
There’s the socialite
Between all the extra curricular activities I do get to hang out with my lovely friends. Now they’re all dotted over the country, when I do see them it’s a fantastic time. Most people who know me, know that I work hard, but party harder.
There’s the ferret lover
These are my two little fuzzbutts (Perl is the white one, Ruby is the darker one). Charlotte insists every post has a photo of my two little bundles of fluff and bitey fangs! An old friend had a polecat (like Ruby, see the bandit mask)) and I fell in love. Ferrets are like owning kittens who never grow up. Living in a top floor flat in Preston a cat would have been bored. Ferrets sleep up to 20 hours a day. So when I’m at work they sleep. When I’m asleep they sleep. If I go away for the weekend they pretty much sleep. However when they are awake they are mental. When I lived in Preston they had full run of the flat. Since I moved to Nottingham they now live in a mansion of a cage. They get regular walks in the arboretum, bite every visitor I have over (only a nip mind, never break the skin) and entertain me every morning by following me around, attacking me, eachother, towels, socks, toys and mostly eachother. I love the smelly little bitey buggers and they put up with my cuddles. Entertaining, incredibly cute and vivacious. Once you’ve met a ferret you’re hooked. More from Ruby and Perl SOON!