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 helped start up the “Post-it Power Mirror” in my local office, which is STILL going strong, despite COVID!
- I helped start and now co-host WomenITPros APAC community call every month with Sonia Cuff
- Helping out with International Women’s Day 2020 (on my birthday no less!) and helping an amazing colleague and friend, Charlie-Marie Shanks, with her work helping women in domestic violence situations, ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes‘
- I was invited to take part in the Microsoft “Humans of IT” AMA around mental health due to speaking about it before at Ignite, Florida and also being so candid about it online
- I was humbled to be asked to be part of Hashnode “She Inspires” series, and was interviewed in September 2020
- The fabulous Holly Lehman and Isidora Katanic invited me to take part in their amazing podcast “Head in the Cloud, Heart in the Community” for their 10th episode – it was SO MUCH FUN! 💜
- 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 😱
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 💜
- 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 😊
- 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! 🤞) start blogging more again, as I have a lot to share – stay tuned! 💜