Amy Goes to Perth

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Building Quokka on Demand

Last year I got the chance to give a live demo at the Superclass at Twilio Engage in Sydney. It was just a quick demo so I didn't have the chance to do much, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to show how easy the APIs are to use, and maybe I could put a little Perth in it. Then I came up with the idea of Quokkabot 🎉. Using the Twilio WhatsApp API, it allows people to send a message in…
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Fixing Spam on WordPress

As if spam wasn't already infiltrating enough areas of our lives - in our letter boxes, on our phones in our emails - it's now in our website contact forms. But as much as I would like to earn millions of dollars through a cryptocurrency, I'd also like to keep my contact form to legitimate submissions, thankfully WordPress has a few options for this. Akismet Anti Spam Plugin Akismet is the most…
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Global Diversity CFP Day 2020

For the past three years, I've been involved with Global Diversity CFP Days, first as an attendee, then as a mentor and most recently as a facilitator. And these workshops have been incredible, as they've given me the opportunity to go from someone who didn't think they had anything to talk about, to someone who's spoken at numerous conferences and can help people do the same. Global Diversity CFP…
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On Submitting to Conferences

Well Global Diversity CFP Day has wrapped up again for another year, and my head is still spinning with things I wish I'd remembered to share. So while it's all still fresh (and while I can continue to postpone my other work 😂), I thought I'd take the chance to write them down. Writing a Proposal Writing Your Proposal GDCFP Day have an excellent video with advice on writing a CFP If you need…
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2019 - A Retrospective

It's now been a couple of years since I first started doing these (and I still have a half written one for 2018). But last time I took the time to sit down and reflect on the past 12 months, it was really interesting to remind myself of all the things I've forgotten, and the past 12 months have felt like a lifetime for me. Speaking When I started trying to get into speaking at events, my goal for…
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Setting up a Windows Computer for Dev

In the past, Windows has developed a reputation for being a difficult OS to use as a developer. Things were difficult to install and run, involved complex workarounds and you could forget doing anything involving Ruby. Thankfully in recent years that's improved, even more so with the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) so it's now possible to do pretty much everything you can on a unix system. This…
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HTML and CSS Tricks

So recently I shared a HTML and CSS only testimonial carousel, and was accused of witchcraft 🤣 Despite the fact that this absolutely made my day (and resulted in me having to go home that night and re-watch The Holy Grail), I decided to compile a few of my little JS-free tricks. Now some of these can be a little janky, and not quite as smooth as when using JS or an external plugin or library…
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NDC Minnesota 2019

This week I had the chance to not only attend, but speak at NDC Minnesota 2019 (their second year running in Minnesota). This was my second NDC conference (having spoken at London earlier this year) and once again I got the chance to meet a wide range of amazing people from different areas in tech and this time even made it to a few talks! This was my second time at an NDC conference (having…
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How Notion runs my life

During the past year, I've started using Notion to organise both my personal and professional life. I discovered it accidentally while looking for a tool to manage my side projects and now I use it as my wiki, social media calendar, to draft documents, store random bits of information and manage both my blog posts (even this post is written in Notion first) and conference talk submissions. Notion…
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An Origin Story

Five years ago I decided to rebuild my parents' business' website for their Christmas present. It was very out of date, the instructions the developer had given them were incredibly complicated and they were quoting a minimum of $400 to make any content changes. While rebuilding the site I realised how much I loved doing it, and I had an epiphany This is something I could do! My Goals With the…
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The Importance of Routine

When I started working for myself fulltime, I was so excited for the freedom and flexibility I could have. No rules, no restrictions, no routines. I could do whatever I wanted, when I wanted and no one could tell me otherwise. But it didn't take me long before I realised I was a little lost and not getting anything done. I'd spend several days vegging out on the couch and then have to stay up…
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Being a More Sustainable You

During the past couple of years, I started focusing more on myself and when I burnt out last year I decided to put myself first. Since then I've taken on so many new responsibilities, adventures and stressors, but since making the decision to put myself first I've been in a much better place mentally and emotionally. By making conscious decisions about what I devote my energy to and by not letting…
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DDD Perth 2018

This weekend I got the chance to go to my second DDD conference in Perth, and experience a little of the behind-the-scenes action working on one of the sponsor booths. Having been to my first DDD last year, they'd set the bar pretty high and still managed to not only do better, but smash it out of the park. The team outdid themselves again with more than 50% more attendees than last year (where…
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How Google runs my Home

In the past year, it's no longer unusual to see a virtual assistant in someone's house, whether it be a Google Home, Amazon Alexa or Apple Homepod, but when someone hears that I have 4 I'm always met with shock and surprise. "But what do you actually do with them?". I have an insanely busy life, and my Google Home(s) help to take care of the things that I shouldn't really have to worry about (or…
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The Comedy of Errors

I'd like to thank Microsoft for inspiring this tale, and Shakespeare for inspiring the style. Although names have been changed, all events actually happened. Conversations have been simplified but subject matter and time periods remain the same. Dramatis Personae Solinus, generic Microsoft support officer Aemilia, myself Balthazar,_ shop owner_ Act I. Scene I. Aemilia's Office Aemilia sits at a…
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Farewell to CSSConf AU

Last month I got the awesome opportunity to go to the final CSSConf AU in Melbourne and see a range of amazing speakers from all over the world (including one of my good friends from Perth). This was the first time I'd been to a CSSConf and I'm so glad I was able to make it before they finished up. The entire experience from start to finish was amazing, inclusive, inspiring, encouraging and came…
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Women in Tech - My Story

The other week I went to my first WiTWA TECHXchange and got to listen to four amazing women and their experiences of working as women in tech, as well as stories from people in the audience. It was great to hear such amazing stories (especially as I knew two of the women), and it really got me thinking about how I got into tech and the journey I’ve had along the way. I consider myself to be very…
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JAOO! for YOW! Brisbane!

So this year I was lucky enough to get the chance to attend YOW Conference in Brisbane. As my first full two-day and first inter-state conference, as well as knowing the standard of speakers they have attending, my expectations were high but they’ve been unbelievably blown away. Firstly, I’d like to give a big shout-out to everyone who spent time and effort making this happen. I’ve found this year…
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2017 - A Retrospective

So the last month or so I’ve been reflecting a little on how this past year has gone and I’ve come to one conclusion. 2017 sucked. This past year I’ve been through some of the hardest things I’ve ever had to face. But I’ve also had some of the most amazing times this year, discovered the most amazing people and have had the best year of my life. To say that 2017 didn’t get off to a great start…
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The Pants-Optional Workplace

That’s the dream isn’t it? To be able to work from home, with no pants on. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? The last couple of weeks, I’ve switched from a 9–5 office job to working as a freelancer from home. So what should you be aware of before you make the switch? A couple of weeks ago, I switched to being a full-time freelancer, working from home. And while I’m not sitting at home…
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The Need for PageSpeed: A Hot Pursuit

Lately there’s a big rise in people running PageSpeed Insights reports on their sites. But what does this number actually mean to developers, to clients and to site visitors? Like their search engine algorithm, Google is a little fuzzy about exactly how they classify sites using this tool but they insist that it’s important for SEO. Can you really expect to get the perfect 100/100 score, or should…
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The Art of Project Management

There’s an app for that. I’m not kidding, there’s even an app to find out if there’s an app for that. While we’re a little spoilt for choice, that can often make things harder so I’ve ventured into the world of Project Management software to hopefully make the choice easier for you. My method when looking for a new app or program, is do a quick Google search and click on everything I can find…
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#Frocktober

So for anyone who knows me, or who follows me on Instagram, I’ve been wearing a lot of dresses lately (and oversharing about it). Frocktober is organised by the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and empowers women of all backgrounds and lifestyles to unite together to support a common cause that affects us all- Ovarian Cancer. This month, I’ve been participating in Frocktober with a friend of…
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Developers, Developers, Developers

Over the weekend I got to attend the DDD conference in Perth for the first time. Despite the small price tag and the fact that I had to get up early on a Saturday, not only did it not disappoint but I was blown away by the number of supporters, the calibre of the speakers and the overall experience. I’ve never really lost my excitement for the web (and even when it gets hard there are still cat…
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Error! Your connection is not secure

These days, there are more and places offering their website through encrypted protocols, or HTTPS. But what does this actually mean for you? Is this something you should be worried about? And should you be concerned if a site isn’t encrypted? As the interwebs ventures further and further into every aspect of our lives, there is more and more of our information available out there. Would you…
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Setting up Local Dev and Deployment Pipelines

Since I discovered git, everything I do gets recorded on GitHub (it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve learnt in web). I’ve also started using XAMPP so that I can develop on my local machine. But while copying files from my local development onto my server I thought surely there must be an easier way to do this. Unfortunately there didn’t seem to be a lot of information about simply setting…
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A Cultural Agenda

We all do it, see an event coming up, use the phrase "_I’m going to go to that, I’ll see who wants to come with me" _and inevitably find that we don’t go at all. This year I decided that was going to change, so sat down and purchased 2 tickets to a bunch of shows I’d like to see. With a fairly wide range including comedy, Shakespeare, classical and contemporary music and of course the ballet, I’ve…
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Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down

Never gonna run around and desert you… No one likes to let people down; but what happens when you really need to for your own sake? Have you ever noticed that there are people in your life who don’t like saying no to anything? My mum is one of them and unfortunately so am I (she could have given me her tanned skin, but no it had to be this). And while it’s great to be the person that everyone…
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YEOW! for YOW West

Last week I was lucky enough to get a free last minute ticket to YOW West in Perth (big shout out to Mandy who made it happen 🤗). Unfortunately I couldn’t take the full 2 days off work, but I did get to see a few awesome talks and meet (or catch up with) some amazing and inspiring people. First up, I saw Ashley Aitken discussing the Extreme Lean Startup for Developers. It’s a concept I’ve heard…
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All the Balls in the Air

These days your’re expected to manage several different aspects of life and at the same time keep on top of it all. Now the first thing you need to remember is to know your limits, it’s all too easy to take on too much and before too long you end up crashing and burning. I’m not going to cover that now because that’s an entirely different topic, but make sure you know where the line is, because…
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A Week Wallet-Free

A discussion was raised at dinner last week, about why women have much bigger purses than men. Do we really have needs so different that I need to carry around a massive wallet and my friends get to carry a few cards in their phone case? So I decided to do an experiment, can I go a week without my wallet? It made me wonder, I have an app on my phone that keeps all my loyalty cards, my bank has…
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Happy Birthday to Me?

Remember when you were little and you couldn’t wait until it was your birthday? You’d be so excited, counting down the days, waiting for the day to finally come, insisting that you were now almost 7 which was so much older and more mature than 6. Then the day would finally come and it would be wonderful, there would be presents, special breakfasts, parties, friends, pass the parcel, party bags (I…
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Online Dating and Rental Houses

During the past couple of months I’ve had to endure 2 things that no one enjoys doing; online dating and finding a new rental house. This has led me to realise that there are many similarities between the two, besides the fact that I don’t really enjoy either of them. One of the biggest similarities I find between online dating and finding a new rental, is the photography. So many houses I looked…
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This is your first post

I remember back when everyone had a blog. And then no one really blogged for a while (it wasn’t a thing). But all of a sudden everyone I know has their own blog (or multiple blogs) and is busy sharing their stories and what they’re up to. In the age of the internet, everyone seems to think that they have something interesting to say. There’s no point keeping a diary because instead you update…