On October 24th we hosted the third Manchester Web Meetup at LADbible. Way more people showed up to visit our freshly refurbished office and listen to us talk about our continuous integration workflows than we were expecting, so it turned into quite a night! I gave a talk based on the Medium article I wrote, and it felt very cool to be able to answer questions about my work and get excited about the things we're doing on this project without feeling like a total noob. I guess that's because I'm not a total noob anymore. Two of my colleagues who spoke that night had been with us for less than a month by then, and it was amazing to realise just how much they'd done for the project in such a short space of time.
A couple of days ago, a few of us from the LADbible tech team attended the Stemettes Monster Confidence event. A lot of young ladies from local schools came to ask us about our STEM careers and find out what sort of options they have. It was amazing to see how passionate some of these young women are about their future careers! I didn't have anything like that level of confidence about my future when I left school - I wasn't even going into technology at university - and although an event like this would have been amazing for teenage Joey, the truth is that it just couldn't have existed. The internet was only just getting started when I was in high school. Facebook didn't exist until I was in uni, and coding in schools was absolutely not a thing. I taught myself HTML and CSS by ripping apart websites (mostly Hanson fansites, let's be honest), so I never considered web development to be an academic option. It was just something fun I did between prepping for exams and playing guitar.
But with that in mind, the advice I found myself giving out the most at the event was to find out what it is that you love doing most, and then get someone to pay you to do just that. If you're in a job where you love what you do and you never find yourself bored, you're in the right place. I absolutely feel that way about being a software engineer, moreso than I ever did as a musician or a teacher. This job just makes sense to me. I have confidence in my own abilities, and being able to pass that on to the next generation is... well, it's a pretty big deal.