… because girls can code too!

To be honest, these days nobody says we can’t. But there’s an assumption that developers are male (I meet it on the web all the time), and I believe there’s a lack of female voices in the software development world. I wanted to do something about that. And xxcoder is an awesomely short handle don’t you think?

Who is Stray?

I’m a 34 year old woman who builds air and actionscript 3 apps most of the time. I’m interested in education and how we learn, which fits nicely with the bulk of what I work on – e-learning. I work from home in the UK, with a small team of freelancers who do the things I’m not so good at.

I also write. Most recently I wrote Head First 2D Geometry for O’Reilly. My favourite book, ever, is Head First Design Patterns, and I was thrilled to get to learn from the author, drink the kool aid and do a Head First book.

I am step-mum to a 15-year-old boy who happens to have dyspraxia, sensory integration disorder and problems with working memory. He is also very bright, and the way his brain works is like an extreme representation of how *all* our brains work. Learning how he learns best has been a real education for me in not wasting cognitive energy.

I am on twitter @stray_and_ruby – ruby is my dog but also now a programming language I find useful. Ruby the dog came before the language.

Do you give presentations?

Before I started coding fulltime, I was a TV reporter. Yes, really. I worked on a programme called Tomorrow’s World, which was an incredible opportunity to meet astronauts, climb the Golden Gate Bridge and generally hang out with unspeakably clever scientists and engineers.

So – I’m not shy. I can do live TV and radio. But I seem to find conversations with people quite tiring. I recently got diagnosed with autism (no surprise really), which rather explains it. So, provided you don’t mind if I just arrive, do my thing, and leave again, I’m very happy to come and present or do workshops on as3 / tdd / robotlegs / cognitive load / sheep rearing. (Actually I only have 2 sheep and we’ve only been doing it a little while so I’m not really an expert yet).

I’m even happy to talk tech in small groups. I just can’t do small talk, and I might not be able to tell when you’re joking. No, really, you have to make it completely obvious.

I’m also a woman who codes – can I guest post?

Please do! The brilliant @badgerthat will be posting as well, and we’d love to get outside contributions from more women who work in our fields.

  • Spirited Bohemian

    Hi – did you give all of your timers away yet? If not – tell me how to get one. Thanks!

    • http://www.xxcoder.net Stray

      Sorry for the delay – I missed this in my inbox. I have some left for people who make contributions to Robotlegs 2. So – pick up or post an issue, or make a fix, and then send me your details so I can get it to you.

  • Andrew


    Still looking for a Flash Dev? HMU at andrew[AT]blurgroup.com or 0203 176 2445.



  • Stephan Caspar

    Hi, very interested reading your blog. I was wondering where you’re based. I’m a Head of Department at Fareham College in Hampshire and I look after the Gaming and Computing area. We have a one day festival every year and am looking for a guest speaker. I’m very keen to encourage more girls into computer science. With many female students doing so  much better than their male peers in STEM subjects we’re keen to encourage them to join us. I know that there’s a huge need for role models and for them to see other women work successfully in this field. Be very interested in speaking with you, btw we have some lecturing jobs going http://jobs.next-gen.biz/job/3280/lecturer-in-gaming-and-computing/ if you know anyone who might be interested. many thanks, Stephan

  • Ppitman3

    Hi, I am a fan of your Head First 2D Geometry and wonder if 3D geometry will come out or if you can suggest a good approach to that subject.

  • Arek Grzanka Kolbark

    [10:25:18] Loetmichel2: my grinder isnt exactly standard
    [10:26:21] -!- RoyBellingan [RoyBellingan!~roy@] has joined #linuxcnc
    [10:27:20] ah, you mean: “that colled holder looks like ER11, altho it dosent say so on the manual, lets see if a collet fiots?
    [10:27:23] -o
    [10:27:34] more or less
    [10:27:48] I checked sizes and compared em to standards
    [10:27:53] it was $4 risk
    [10:27:55] so yeah
    [10:28:16] then: lucky you, congrats ;)
    [10:28:27] its awesome because I now have a way to hold pile of used tool in that specific hold size
    [10:28:39] it cut inocel and are useless for metal