People who enjoy asking for help are few and far between. Be the thing that starts to make a bad day better.
At the very least, don’t make it worse.
Reading and listening and watching are great for setting the stage, but a skill isn’t cemented for me until I’ve had a few chances to get my hands deep in the meat of it. Give me space to experiment and to fail (within reason), let me fall on my face a few times. I usually only need to pick myself up off the ground once or twice before I can stand on my own.
I’m pretty flexible when it comes to communication. I’ve been writing fiction my entire life, so I’m very confident in my ability to be clear and nuanced on paper - but I also recognize that a lot of how I convey tone is by bending or fully breaking some grammatical rules. Extremely effective in certain contexts, but it also runs the risk of alienating people for whom English isn’t their first language, or anyone who’s less Terminally Online than I am. I try to be flexible with both how I write and speak, and am always open to hearing how I can make myself more understandable to my colleagues.
Deep conversation in the early stages to ensure a shared understanding of the goals, both individually and for the larger target. Break from there for individual research and experimentation, then come back together at predetermined checkpoints to sync up, celebrate each other’s progress, and do any necessary course correction. Repeat as necessary until a satisfactory conclusion is reached, or it becomes clear that there needs to be an adjustment in goals or scope.
Gather (at least most of) the relevant information. Where and when the problem first surfaced, how it manifested, and any recent changes to the big picture that may have started a cascade that got us where we are (even if they don’t seem immediately connected).
Explore possible solutions, starting at a tight scope and expanding outward as necessary.
Either find a fix or reach the current limits of my capabilities. Confer with a colleague to either verify my solution seems sound or brainstorm next steps together.
I’ll be honest here - this is still a skill I’m working on. I have really high standards for myself, and if someone tries to praise me for something that I think I could have done better, or something that felt easy, I usually deflect with humor instead of just taking the compliment.
I can’t deflect if you’re doing it asynchronously, though! And being specific about what you think I’ve done well, or ways you’ve seen me improve, makes it harder for me to dispute. Can’t fight data!
Another work in progress, those high standards coming back to bite me again! Luckily, seeing that vulnerability modeled by others around me makes it easier to swallow my pride and just ask the dang question.
The dopamine rush of solving a tricky puzzle is out of this world.
What kind of work do you find easiest to do when (for example, some folks write best at night or can focus more easily in the afternoon)
I need some time in the morning to warm up with simpler, less thought-intensive tasks while my Ritalin kicks in and I magically gain the ability to direct my own focus. Once the engine starts running I’ve got a few hours of prime time for careful, complex problem solving. That focus tapers off toward lunch, and stepping away to eat and caffeinate and stretch kicks off a compressed version of the morning pattern.
How do you feel about getting messages after/outside of hours that are meant for you to see and respond to during active hours
I’m responsible for maintaining my own boundaries. If I can’t stop myself from monitoring messages outside of work hours, it’s on me to remove Slack and work email from my phone. Go ahead and send me that message if that’s what needs to happen for your flow.
How folks can best show up for us when we seem off (give space, ask if work is the right place for us to be today, etc)
My brain floats around in a fun cocktail of ADHD, depression, and anxiety, which is fortunately pretty much managed at this point in my life. If things get a little bumpy, I can recenter after a chance to just talk through where I’m at with someone. If the result of that talk is that I take on less than I usually would, okay, I don’t love that, but it’s something I’m getting better at accepting.
But sometimes the bumps are big, and while I technically can push through and get the work done, it definitely isn’t good for me. These are also the times when I’m least capable of expressing and asking for what I need. Which is a long way of saying please ask me if work is the right place for me to be. And maybe push back if you can tell I’m brushing the idea off without proper consideration - but only if you’re feeling up to it. You’re not my therapist or my parent, my ability to self-regulate is not your responsibility.
- Being misgendered
- Unclear communication
- Not knowing where to start solving a problem
HTML & CSS/SCSS
Writing & editing
Unity and/or Unreal Engine
Development for Virtual and Augmented Reality
How to stop being intimidated by hardware
I’ve been playing around with ink as an alternative to Twine for writing with a branching narrative structure. Still sandboxing at this point, but I’ve got some ideas brewing for a sad & solemn little horror game about a house that time forgot.
Heights. Disappointing people who rely on me.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
-Excerpt from Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
Aquarius sun, Leo moon, Pisces rising