*tap tap* …is this thing still on?

Photo of Jess dodson, sitting on a bench, with a Harley Quinn handbag beside her, wearing a stripey strapless dress and sunglasses; taken in March 2021
Oh hi!

Why hello there, intrepid internet denizen.

It’s been an exceptionally long while since I last properly posted. Nearly 2 years. And *WOAH* has a lot happened in that two years…I don’t even know where to start with summing it up.

So in order not to drag everything out, let’s do a quick summary of all the things that have happened in the last 22 months since I got hired (and not least the amazing ever-changing stickers that are on my work laptop!)

  • I have travelled SO MUCH – not just interstate, but also overseas. From May 2019 to February 2020 I travelled to:
  • My knowledge, skills and experience have grown exponentially:
    • I’ve almost completely moved from being an on-prem Identity administrator to being a Cloud Security Administrator – my skillset now lies in Azure Security Center, Azure Sentinel and other Microsoft cloud security and identity products
    • My presentation skills have become even more honed, because it’s what I now do for a living, and I absolutely *LOVE* it!
    • I went off and became security certified with my new Azure Security Engineer certification!
    • I’ve been involved in hiring internally within Microsoft, helping my manager hire new members of our team – which was a fabulous experience. So much to learn being on the other side of the conversation!
  • I have been able to work with some amazing women and have have been able to go even further with my quest to empower women in technology:
  • I have attended and spoken at SO MANY different events and been involved in so many different speaking roles:
    • I spoke at Ignite 2019 over in Florida in a number of capacities – as part of a panel on intersectionality and diversity; speaking on stage by myself around the hidden stories in the tech trenches and how you can help; and then being part of the Channel9 crew and speaking with Rick Claus about straddling the line between ops and security; and also taking part in SlideShow Shuffle on the last day which was AMAZING fun!
    • Attended my very first Microsoft Ready (internal Microsoft conference) in February 2020, just before COVID hit, and I was so very grateful I did get to go. It was a phenomenal experience being there and learning from such awe-inspiring people
    • I have been involved in the two remote Ignite conferences that have been held, as part of table talk topics on Security, on in September 2020 and one in February 2021
    • I was honoured to be asked to be interviewed by the awesome Richard Campbell for RunAsRadio, discussing how you can get your Active Directory up to speed to be part of a Hybrid cloud environment
    • I spoke at Global Diversity CFP Day as part of the Oceania conference on “So Now You’re a Conference Speaker” to help new speakers build their confidence
    • I spoke at CrikeyCon 2021 in Brisbane, on security basics and all the things simple things that I keep seeing being missed
    • …and I’ve been invited to give this same talk at AusCERT on the GoldCoast in May 2021 šŸ˜±

So that sums up work and career. Things are going well there. I am extremely busy and loving it. I spend my days talking about Azure and security and helping people make good technical and security decisions and it still blows my mind that I have the job I do!

So then onto “life” in general. Which has been pretty topsy-turvy with highs and lows:

  • Of course, we had COVID hit – which sent the world into a tailspin, grounded my travel entirely (where I went from travelling 50% of the month to not at all) and meant we all had to get used to working remotely and from home – which I am still doing now.
  • My small human got older and she had two birthdays – her 2nd, which was Bluey themed; and her 3rd, in which she had discovered her love of Frozen. Since the last time I wrote and she’s even more sassy than I could have ever expected…well, she is my daughter. She’s discovered her love of being a princess, so I forsee a lot of dresses, jewellery and glitter in my future!
  • We had two Christmas’ in those 22 months – and let’s be honest, 2020’s Christmas was a bit of a shitshow because of COVID, so everyone needs their own FuckFlake to commemorate with
  • There were many toys bought – of the Lego variety (like this one, or this one, or this one, or these, or this GIGANTIC one) of the geeky variety (my new Switch Lite, to play Diablo 3 on; when I “tripped” and bought my own Droid; my favourite handbag of all time; the notepads I got that say what I feel; and me, in PopVinyl form on a throne)
  • Because I was stuck at home, there was LOTS of crafting – including a ton of chainmaille jewellery (see this, and this, and this) as well as my new love of diamond dot art; and of course, colouring in
  • I continued to be repurpled FREQUENTLY – including having the odd bleach shampoo to make it brighter. I just wouldn’t be me without the purple šŸ’œ
  • I still played video games, as much as I could – though my love for it died off towards the end of 2020 as I just didn’t have the time to commit. Still play the odd game when I can – especially a fan of Among Us!
  • In really exciting news, we sold our house and bought a new one – which, during a pandemic, is scary as hell. But we’ve been here for nearly 4 months now and are incredibly happy. And I’ve even got my very own home office and I’m very comfortable šŸ˜Š
  • And then the saddest news of, not just the last 22 months, but of my life to date: my twin brother died. Which was harder than I ever thought it would be. It’s still raw (it’s been just over 6 months) but I’ve been told that it will be for a while to come yet. But we’ll get through it. I’m talking with a tattoo artists to get a fitting tribute made, so that will be fun!

And with that, you’re brought up to speed with where I’m at in life. All the major things that have happened (that I can remember!) from the last 22 months.

This is my way of catching everyone up so I can (hopefully! šŸ¤ž) start blogging more again, as I have a lot to share – stay tuned! šŸ’œ

1 thought on “*tap tap* …is this thing still on?

  1. Steven K.

    Just found your blog, and I think you ROCK! Going to use some of your posts (circa 2017?) to help break some log-jam style bad practices in my workplace.
    Thank you! SLK


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