2016 was a big year for everyone it seems, and it was an especially big year for me in my code adventure. I went from being very hesitant about my skills to someone who is ready to be a junior developer for real. So while I finish off the last of the Christmas pavlova, I thought I’d look back on my year in code.

January and February started off slowly, I got a promotion at work and a lot of my mental energy was dedicated to that adjustment. I watched a few lectures on Coursera from their Internet History, Technology and Security, Principles of Computing, and Python for Databases courses.

March was when I really threw myself into learning, and started to hold myself accountable. I set up a twitter account (hannahcancode ) and a github account ( hannahcancode ) to share what I was doing. Looking back through my early tweets, there’s more negative self talk than I would have imagined - I used words like ‘shitty’ and ‘rubbish’ to downplay my achievements. I’m pleased to say I think I’ve turned this around.

I also dived into working on my pyglet game, dealing with classes (both ones I’d made and pyglet’s classes), **kwargs, inheritance and composition. I animated my character’s walk so she didn’t hover, implemented multiple screens and set up a game of life style disease progression for my trees, changing their colour when “disease” hit.

In April I did a fair bit of non-code work on my sprites, making nicer walking animations (with bounce!) and refining my main character’s face (got rid of her mouth, a permanent smile was creepy). I also rolled up my sleeves, brewed a lot of V60 coffee, and spent a day qualifying for Google Code Jam 2016! I was very pleased with myself. I competed in round 1A too, and got the first question right in a flash. Unfortunately I over thought the second question, but I was pleased to see I was on the right track.

Code Jam 2016

In May I implemented adorable mushrooms in my game, that randomly grew from nothing and shrank away a few seconds later. I created an inventory system and made the mushrooms collectable with a button press when you got close enough to them.

Spawning mushrooms

I also booked flights and accommodation for PyCon AU in Melbourne. Interestingly I didn’t book my ticket until later… imposter syndrome perhaps?

In June I actually registered for PyCon AU.

In July I went to my first ever tech meetup, a NodeGirls Sydney workshop, where I worked through the javascripting tutorial, learnt some node.js and MET SOME PEOPLE LIKE ME! Revelations. I also got my first ever swag (free stuff hooray!). I’d highly recommend going to this workshop next time it comes around.

In August I moved to Sydney for work and love. I didn’t realise quite how much of an impact this would have on my coding. It turns out community aids success, at least for me. If I can see it I can be it! The Sydney tech community is huge, amazing and the women in tech are some of the best people I’ve ever met. So welcoming.

If it fits, I sits

It was also the month of PyCon AU and unfortunately I was still recovering from a post-move lurgy. I was struggling for most of it. That did mean I was very, very grateful to whoever had put the box of tissues, (and tampons and pads) in the bathroom. It was my first tech conference, and everyone was awesome, but I’d like a do-over in better health!

Bathroom tissues at PyCon AU 2016

September was busy busy busy! I went to my first PyLadies Sydney (VR headsets!), I signed up to and won the People’s Choice Award with my team at SheHacks (read the blog post here), joined a study group for technical interviews (pair programming!), started to learn Django (and felt like a wizard using terminal). I also recorded my first ever podcast, Can We Steal You For A Second (spoiler: it’s about the Bachelor, not code). September was the month I was certain that being a developer was my future.

October was potentially even bigger. I challenged myself to do something code related (doing, learning, talking) every day of the month (I got… close). But, I did some refresher front end courses (bootstrap, css, javascript, jquery), got some amazing resume tips at a Women Who Code meetup and registered for Linux Conference AU 2017. I started pulling apart websites to see how they were doing cool things, and managed to replicate some in easier ways. I also made my first ever commit to github and published my first post on this blog.

In November I submitted a talk proposal to WOOTConf, and was accepted! So I set about fulfilling the promise I’d made in my proposal, and started learning Go and arduino.

Finally, December. I gave a lightning talk at Women Who Code Sydney about my arduino adventures, and tentatively started jobhunting. And I bought a robot!

2016 sucked in a lot of ways, but I learned a lot, made some great news friends and had an awesome, busy time.