So… It’s a different world than it was last time I wrote… I left my job in March then, while I was preparing myself to jump back into the world of rejections and ghosting, it became clear that lockdown was going to become a thing. So I upped sticks
temporarily to ride out lockdown with family as otherwise I’d have been stuck alone with no respite from myself!
This was a mutual decision between our two households and, since I hadn’t left the house other to visit them in the last two weeks, there was very minimal risk.
Not long after lockdown I heard about a new organisation founded by Alistair Forbes and Pete Jaco – the Scottish Tech Army – an organisation made up of tech minded people available to help Scotland cope with Covid-19. I joined very quickly (even earned myself a first responder badge, as above!) and found myself at the perfect time where I had drive, energy, and motivation while at the same time STA was in the throes of getting set up and organised. I found some internal work first of all to do with helping to set up our internal wiki (building the plane while in the air was a term that became very familiar!).
Somehow, from there, I ended up in the Project Management Office (PMO) team shortly after Margaret Hinselwood was asked to come in and set it up. She’s now my mentor as it seems that PMO is actually a good fit for me with my particular set of skills, analytical mind, my role at DTG, and my tendency to like control (read as OCPD, not control in the sense of controlling others!).
Watch this space for my appearance in a podcast talking to Kirsty McIntosh about my experience of having a mentor within the STA.
As of publishing (20/7/20) the STA has 961 volunteers signed up to date, 172 resources active on projects, and have delivered on 8 projects so far!
Also I found one voluntary position and one potential job through STA!
The voluntary role I was suggested for by Lisa Dempsey at HEAD Resourcing, official resourcing partner of the Scottish Tech Army, is working for Team Kenya on their website! The potential paid position is at a company called I heard about through Emma Walker of Auticon. Auticon is a company who specialise in hiring IT consultants who are on the autistic spectrum; I’ve sent in an application in hopes of it leading to a position once the hiring freeze is over. Wish me luck!
Using zoom has become second nature and I’ve finally gotten myself a HD webcam (welcome to the 21st century, Iz!) and even a fancy microphone and a greenscreen! When my sister came to visit us (once lockdown was eased to the point where it was allowed of course!) she saw my setup and assumed I’d joined Twitch. Twitch, I thought, that sounds right up my street and, now I have the basic equipment and feel more comfortable on camera, what’s stopping me?!
Quick aside: Twitch, for those who don’t know, is a streaming platform mainly used by creators and gamers.
Well… what’s stopping me, it turns out, is nerves and a slight fear that I’ll lose my own personality in trying to emulate those of whom I’m a fan (and faking more confidence than I actually have!) I’ve signed up to twitch (my channel here) and have roped in a couple of friends in to be there my first couple of streams to help me make sure I stay myself!
So here I am in my newfound
position confidence situation at the STA, on the verge of breaking into Twitch as well as a project for Team Kenya.
Lastly I’d like to talk about my experience of the current Covid coloured world as an Aspie. I have flourished. Frequent use of video conferencing has removed a lot of barriers for me and evened out the playing field allowing me to shine.
My lack of eye contact is a non-issue because no one can see where anyone is looking anyway, I’m only needing to appear formal from the waist up so I’m able to dress more comfortably (hello drawstring bottoms and slippers!!), and physically I’m working in an environment that’s comfortable to me (at ‘home’ in front of my computer, with my own equipment and set up). Everyone in the household is family, knows particular things that one shouldn’t do around someone with Asperger’s like attempting sudden hugs. Believe it or not, that was something that happened at my last job, which was, among some other triggers, what led to me leaving my last job.
Watch this space, my weasels, for hopefully exciting things to come!