How to survive and live in high pressure work situations…can we have it all?

-Written by Laura, Anna & Sally, DevelopHer Board Members-

In January, DevelopHer board members Sally, Laura and Anna spoke at a fireside chat as part of GetaHead Wellness Week. The topic was on how to survive and live in high pressure work situations…and can we really have it all?
Although we’re not medical experts, we shared tips and advice on how we personally manage stress.

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Below are the highlights of what we spoke about it:

What is pressure and stress?

It’s all about how you respond under the constraint of certain circumstances. It might be how you respond and manage yourself in either a work context or personal context. Sometime the urgency of this situation can create strong attention or distress on yourself.

Stress can be an emotional, mental, physical strain or tension based on how you react to a demanding situation.

What does it mean to have it all?

  • Understand and identify what ‘having it all’ means to you. Having it all can depend on your where you are in your life and what is important to you at the time:
    • Based on the Bravest Path Brene Brown coaching programme that Laura and Anna joined, we learnt that’ having it all’ refers to achieving what our values in life are. A value is a way of being or believing what’s most most important to you. Knowing what your 5 values are, can help you live your life focusing on achieving your values. By achieving your values, you can live a more meaningful live. So if ‘having it all’ connects back to achieving your 5 values in life – then yes you can have it all.

What does stress feel like to you?

When noticing stress, the three of us get the following symptoms:

  • Weight and strain on my shoulders (Laura)
  • Stress-eating on sugary snacks or caffeine related (Laura & Sally)
  • Lack of clarity – can’t think straight (Laura)
  • Over-working and lack of attention to other people or activities (Laura)
  • Short fused – things get to me quickly (Laura)
  • Inability to sleep (Anna & Sally)
  • Inability to settle down – feeling weird when you have a few hours of quiet (Anna)
  • Loss of appetite (Anna)
  • Need for lots of sensory stimulation such as music (Anna)
  • Back pain (Sally and Laura)
  • Feeling like I have FOMO (Sally)
  • Rumination when I cannot resolve something – think of it over and over again

Laura mentioned that it’s important to notice these elements before you get burnout as she often notices different symptoms when facing burnout such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Unable to sleep
  • Change in mood, typically lack sense of energy/happiness
  • Losing confidence in my capabilities

DevelopHer Wellness event

How do you manage stress?

    • Identify which situations create the most stress to you, and how you respond to them. Think about tracking what causes you to be stressed or what makes you feel the tension when you’re under pressure. Knowing your own symptoms and when it happens, can help you think about the small changes you can look to implement to help manage it.
    • Establish boundaries on what you take on, how you respond to
      people/friends and saying ‘no’.

      • Anna – when working with other time zones: edit your calendar so people can’t book in meetings past 5:30pm. Only join late meetings if it’s an absolute priority.
      • Anna/Laura – I never do work on the weekend or at home. I try to keep it to the office so that when I get home, I can focus on other things. This also helps condition me to not think about work at home too.
      • Laura – Set time for yourself, even if it means saying no to a couple of social events! Ensure you take time to re-charge your batteries without other people being around you.
    • Take time to recharge – and incorporate into a routine. Practice and find out what allows you re-charge yourself.
      • Exercising, releasing natural endorphins
        • Anna –  I’m goal-oriented so setting  goals so that I have to exercise – half marathons and triathlons to work towards – means you need to exercise every week to get there
        • Laura – I try to set 20 mins three-four times a week to at a home HIIT session. I also go to dance once a week even if its a busy period. Make sure you exercise in a way that makes you happy and that will motivate you to do it again! I’m not a gym person, so I don’t kid myself!
        • Sally – I love dancing, swimming & pilates. I also make morning walks on the weekend with my dad  into a consistent routine.
      • Meditate and learn to be calm – e.g. using headspace app is a great way to start practicing mindfulness.
      • Every morning I listen to a podcast whilst I get ready for work (Laura)
        • I also love Oprahs supersoul conversations  and masterclasses podcasts, and getting curious with JVN (Sally).
      • Try and create an ‘artist date’ for yourself once a month or week. An artist date is solo adventure that I fully dedicate myself into for 2–3 hours e.g. going for a walk, reading a book, attending a class (Laura)
        • Sally loves the quote “time spent without purpose” by Brene Brown, give yourself space.
      • Do something that makes you feel good and energises you – Sally loves singing in groups
  • Maintain a healthy diet
      • Laura  – When I’m stressed I normally reach for high sugared snacks and caffeine based products. However it makes me feel quite low in energy and I lose control of when to stop. I try and food prep on Sundays to avoid going down the slippery slope during the week.
      • Anna – I try to eat what I want but in smaller portions, try not to be too restrictive so that I don’t think about eating – e.g. big lunch, very small dinner
      • Sally – I’m a fish eating vegetarian. I have always eaten healthy. I don’t drink much and don’t do drugs.
  • Keeping organised
      • Sally – I use a table diary and make lists. I also plan my day, the day before so I don’t wake up in a panic! Give yourself time to process.
      • Anna – Give yourself realistic deadlines, then add a few working days to when you think you can actually deliver something – its gives you less pressure.
      • Laura – Alongside to-do lists, I block out time in my calendar on individual tasks that I want to focus on – whether it’s for high priority tasks or self development, try and block it as a meeting in your diary.
      • Laura – I also colour coordinate my calendar, anything work or meeting related I colour it red. Anything personal that is time for myself, colour it green (even if its spending time to go for lunch or seeing friends). I try and make sure if my calendar is red, that I’ve put some green in there too to balance it out.
  • Letting go of your perfectionism
      • Laura – Avoid putting on self pressure by being too much of a perfectionism. Take 1-2 small steps each week on making changes e.g. challenge yourself to give more liberty to people working on projects. Or try doing a project in a different way then your normal tactics, to challenge how you work on something.
      • Anna – be kind to your self
      • Anna – give realistic deadlines – add a few working days to when you think you can actually deliver something – gives you less pressure to be stressed out on tight deadlines.
      • Sally – be prepared to be uncool – cut loose
  • Practicing gratitude

    • Anna – Celebrate the small things in life too
    • Anna – Be glad about friends, and speak to them when needed
    • Laura – Make sure you spend time to celebrate your hard work without moving on to the next task too quickly. Find a way to do this, whether it be updating your CV, sending thank you notes or taking the time in your day to say ‘that was pretty good, well done’.
    • Laura – remember to be thankful to those who helped you and say it out loud. If you’re ever feeling burnout, I like to use positive cognitive therapy which was suggested to me by a friend. This involves writing the 10 things that I’m grateful on a piece of morning, and read through it every morning and every night.d3ea2a98-5c71-4f57-9a66-ff3dc76e8d89.JPG

Our Reading List

Here is also our suggested reading list which might also help you manage your own stress:

  1. Seven Habits of Highly effective people – Stephen R Covey
  2. The road less travelled by M Scott Peck
  3. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  4. Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
  5. Poems for Grown Women
  6. How to own the room by Viv Groskop
  7. Thrive by Arianna Huffington

 

Make 2018 Your Bravest Year Yet!

-Written by Anna Abrell, Board Member of DevelopHer –

Interested in overcoming fears, challenges and making this year your bravest year yet?

Whether you’re looking at making that next career progression, or you’re keen to try something new – sometimes a bit of courage and support is what will help us over the finish line!

At DevelopHer, we excited to share with you our latest announcement in partnership with The Bravest Path. We’re are offering an exclusive 6-month coaching programme to challenge and support members of our community to be ‘your bravest self’ in 2018. The program will culminate in sharing your stories of courage to the DevelopHer community of where you have shown up, be seen and lived bravely in 2018.

We’ll select 12 applicants to experience the Daring Way TM development based on the ground-breaking research of Dr Brené Brown with 4 online development sessions and 4 one-to-one Skype coaching sessions. Through the programme, you can expect a journey that will help you come away with a greater understanding of yourself, so you can start living brave and taking action towards a more fulfilled, joyful and connected life.

To apply, please fill out the application form here and attach your CV and application documents! Application deadline is Thursday, 1st March 2018.

apply-now

This programme will help you:

  • take steps to realise your aspirations and make changes in your life
  • feel braver and more confident
  • have greater clarity on your purpose and areas that make your life meaningful
  • act authentically in a way that’s consistent with your values
  • understand whose opinion really matters to you, and let go of pleasing others
  • have a greater self-awareness of what holds you back and what moves you forward
  • feel more connected to a network of other brave women within DevelopHer

Read more about the coaching programme in detail here.

6 Tried & True Tips for Learning How to Code

Guestblog written by Jen Star, Next Day PC

Whether you work with computers professionally or are an interested hobbyist, learning how to code can have a number of great benefits.

At the same time, many people are put off because they assume it is difficult or they simply don’t know where to begin.

Well the good news is it is definitely not as hard as you may assume! We asked a number of successful, self-taught coders what tips they would pass on if they were starting to learn code today – so now you know where to start – with this article.

1) Practical Problems

Many people will suggest you start out with a thorough grounding in the theory of code. Whilst that is of course true – without the basic tools you can’t do anything – theory can also be… kind of boring.

So ask yourself what it is that you want to code – what problem do you think you can solve, what service are you missing, what game do you want to play. Once you know that, gear your studies toward that one thing and it will much more interesting.

2) Javascript is The Standard

When you are just starting out it is highly advised that you learn JavaScript first of all. Javascript is pretty much uniformly recognised as the standard programming language in the world – and also the most popular.

So learn to code Javascript first, and you will be learning skills that will translate to the most applications.

3) Read

A great book to read – probably before you do any studying of code at all – is Code Simplicity. Why is it so good? Well, it barely contains any code at all. Instead, it is written to discuss and celebrate the art of programming and coding. It also discusses some very simple concepts relating to coding, making it perfect or the absolute beginner to get a solid grounding in the craft.

4) Have Fun

There are various coding courses out there designed for kids. Don’t sneer at that, they are pretty much giving out the exact same information as beginner courses designed for mature students.

The main difference is that they are fun! Code.org has a number of excellent coding courses that are based around things like Star Wars. So head on over there, learn the basics and have fun doing it.

5) Stay At The Cutting Edge

As we discussed above, the world of coding moves pretty fast. It’s important therefore that you keep at the tip of cutting edge technology and discussions of the theories and practices of coding and programming.

You can sign up to expensive monthly journals, but it’s cheaper – and probably more fun – to find some blogs and podcasts of programmers and coders you like and trust and subscribe to them. They’re free, they’re sometimes fun and they will definitely keep you up to date.

6) Construct a Portfolio as You Work

Finally, as you gain more experience and begin to build code and programmes, start to save your work in a portfolio (or set up a account at GitHub).

Firstly, it will motivate you to look back over your earlier work as you progress, and get a real sense of just how far you’ve come.

Secondly, if you’re considering going professional with this then it will be a big help to have a portfolio of your work to show prospective employers – so start building it early.

 

Written by Jen Starr. Jen Starr is part of the community team at Next Day PC. Jen enjoys staying on top of the latest tech trends and sharing how new tech can positively impact people’s lives.

6 Ways a Mentor Can Accelerate Your Coding Career

This guest blog is written by Designli

Learning to code is a lot of fun, but it can also be fraught with stress and confusion. Having the assistance of an experienced mentor to help you navigate your journey is invaluable. Mentors can provide a means of achieving your career goals.

Here are six ways in which a mentor can help you accelerate your career in technology.

1. Help in Avoiding Pitfalls

Mentors can provide valuable advice on ways to avoid common pitfalls. After all, your mentor was once a pupil, and there is a good chance that they have encountered some of the same issues that could hinder your progression. A mentor may be able to foresee problem areas and prevent you from making the same mistakes they made. When you are working with a mentor, not only will they be able to answer questions, but they will also be able to help further by showing you how to implement any changes that are needed.

2.  Motivation

Let’s be honest, a lack of motivation is something that plagues all of us from time to time. A mentor can provide the motivation you need to get back in front of the editor. Some mentors may put together study materials and test projects, to ensure that you are continuing to progress.

3. Customised Learning

One of the disadvantages of learning in a coding classroom setting is the lack of individual attention. When working with a mentor, you can discuss both your short-term and long-term goals, and together create a customised plan for achieving success. This can really help you identify and focus on the areas that will aid you in the future.
MENTORING@

4. Help with the Unknown

Coding languages can be mysterious, and at times, downright confusing. Even if you have only been coding for a short time, you have probably encountered issues that seem to have no cause. When you are unaware of the origin of the problem, you may be left wondering where to begin solving it. A mentor can help demystify unknown errors and explain them in a way that is easy to understand.

5. Career Advice and Connections

The best career advice comes from someone who is currently working in the field, and coding mentors are no exception. If you are looking for advice as to which career path is right for you, and more specifically, which languages and software you should focus on learning to achieve your goals, there is no one better to ask than your mentor. Not only can they offer career advice, but there is a chance that they will have connections in the industry that could help you land a job.

6. Real-World Experience

While studying can prepare you for many situations you may face in the real-world, there are times when unique obstacles arise that do not have a concrete solution. Coding mentors can provide you with real-world examples of challenges that you may be forced to overcome, so you will be confident in a similar situation.

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These were just a few reasons to consider using a mentor to help further your tech career.   If you are interesting in being mentored (whether you’re have a technical or non-technical background), read more on DevelopHer’s speed mentoring events.
You can also sign up to our mailing list to be the first to hear about future speed mentoring events during the year.

Stop, Collaborate and Listen

There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes at DevelopHer over the past few weeks. We are building a new website, planning our launch party, autumn events, and continuing to build on our partnerships with some awesome UK and European initiatives.

We are committed to elevating women in technology and to pursue our mission of supporting women in professional, personal and political opportunities we’d like to expand our network. As firm fans of collaboration within the community we’ve grown great relationships with a number of organisations including Geek Girl Meetup, Blooming Founders, and Women Who Code and want to continue to seek out and partner with other organisations with similar values.

If you know of any other groups, initiatives or organisations you think we should get to know or events we should share, please put us in touch via developHer.org@gmail.com .

One of our newest partnerships is with SyncDevelopHER, an East Anglian initiative committed to promoting gender equality in technology. The awesome organisation is behind the DevelopHER Awards; showcasing the East Anglian technology industry’s leading female talent. The next Awards are in Ipswich on 30th November 2016 and tickets are available now . We’re excited to be working together with them and hope to partner on bringing their East Anglian based event to London in the near future.

Coming up we invite you to join us on 20th September at the prestigious Royal Geographical Society as we collaborate with WOW Talks bringing our mentoring experience to  WOW Talks:Women In Tech. Please use code developherwow2016 for £10 off.

As ever, to stay in the know for all things DevelopHer including our launch party please keep an eye on twitter and subscribe to our mailing list HERE.

Team DevelopHer

#LeWeb 2013: the future of the internet

LeWeb Paris 2013

This year #LeWeb focused on discussing the future of the Internet. Leaders shared their views on what they believe will drive the next generation of digital businesses. Girls in Tech London was there (see our tweets here!) and here’s a first recount of the ideas bounced around during the prestigious 3-day event by Josephine.

I will start by a quick not on the concept of “the internet”. I find difficult to understand it as a comprehensive object or concept. I have a hard time putting in the same box Snapchat, Ebay, Microsoft and Uber. Of course, all of them are connected because they relied on the world-wide web infrastructure. However, the business models and the products/services that they offer are dramatically different. Therefore I think it’s hard to find consistency and to identify trends & patterns across all of them.

Guardian’s columnist once wrote that the internet is about everything now, and so does no exist anymore as such. His article presented a valid point and at the time it was visionary because they were still were boundaries between online and offline. However, today, when I go home with a Uber cab, when I look for directions to a new address or when I tweet pictures of friends, it is no longer clear what offline life is. So what do we talk about when we talk about the Internet? Technology conferences too often focus on presenting tech as one thing consistent when I think what they describe more and more nowadays is the implementation of computer technology into businesses. Said differently, it is not anymore about tech, it is about innovation in businesses via the use of computer technology and people’s daly use of it. So to speak: the internet is no longer for geeks only.

This however, did not prevent anyone from speaking on stage and make predictions on the future of the Internet in general terms. Many speakers went on to discuss how their domain of the Internet is going to evolve – following the big common trends. They illustrated that without context and the sort of technology on which this future projections are built on.

The idea of the Internet that was left in me after #LeWeb was not clearer: crypto-currencies like Bit-coin will play a bigger role, more will choose entrepreneurship as their career path and of course mobile will be increasingly essential along with cloud-based technology.

Everyone seemed to be blind to the fact they were talking for the people that use tech and see internet as part of their lives. No one asked about the internet as an experience and hard-ware technology at the very source. It was assumed that new internet user consume internet like geeks do. My problem with that is less ethical or social, but really demographical. The people that will use internet tomorrow in bigger numbers will be from Asia and Africa, not the West. As such they will have a dramatic influence over the way the internet stretches and develop, no? So no one talked about what will be the impact and take up of the internet in countries and from people that do not have access to it yet. Or that use a common computer or same mobile phone for a whole family.

Except for one speaker – the very first to open the conference – Fred Wilson, venture capitalist at Union Square Ventures.

Fred Wilson LeWeb Paris 2013

He laid down the macro trends pushing people and societies that will direct and drive the internet. He summarised them in 3 categories with concrete examples.

1 – Bureaucratic hierarchy is being replaced by digital technologies and networks. Twitter, Youtube or Airbnb are changing media the entertainment and leisure industry. The pyramidal hierarchy in business is being challenged by quicker communication and lower transaction costs. Bureaucratic process won’t be needed anymore and will be replaced because of inefficiency.

2 – Unbundle of services. Before, services were provided by one business (i.e. Royal Mail, or banks). It was expensive to produce and deliver and that’s why businesses were structured as a single full-service entity. Nowadays, with network and communication technology, it is cheaper to set up highly targeted services such as Netflix to buy movies, e-libraries to access books and Tinder to find love.

3 – Personal involvement in the network. Everyone of us is now personally involved in the network because enabled by mobile devices. From Uber, Tinder to Taskrabbit, people are using the internet more often for local search, to assist them with their daily life.

In a few words, he concluded that the internet just follows life, not the contrary.

That for me smartened the evening discussions: humans are shaping the future, including the internet, not the other way round. We are restlessly asking technology to answer our crazy imagination and desires, so ultimately the future of the internet will be what the most of us want and make it be.

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2012 GIT EURO 100: the top 100 women in tech in Europe

Yes, that’s right. We are pleased to be able to announce the top 100 women in tech in Europe.

100 women. 19 countries.

We’ve had literally hundreds of nominations from across Europe and we’ve nailed it town to the following women, which represent 19 different countries (including the UK, Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Greece and Israel.

THE LIST.

The top 100 are not ranked in any particular order. They’ve been selected because of their leadership and excellence in innovation and technology.

Veerle Pieters, Duoh !

Natasha Friis-Saxberg, Gignal

Tine Thygesen, Everplaces

Caitlin Winner, Amen

Claudia Helming, DaWanda

Verena Delius, Young Internet

Julana Chondrasch, Fashionism

Ann Marisa Freese, Pure Equity

Lydia Benko, Corporate Finance Partners

Paula Marttila, Startup guru and mentor

Verena Delius, Goodbeans/Panfu

Constanze Buchheim, i-Potentials

Stephanie Kaiser, Wooga

Catherine Barba, Cashstore.fr

Celine Lazorthes, Leetchi

Anne Sophie Pastel, Aufeminin.com

Marie Ekeland, Elaia Partners

Claire Houry, Ventech

Robin Chase, Zipcar/BuzzCar

Amelie Faure, entrepreuer and startup mentor

Lara Rouyes, Dealissime

Tiina Zilliacus, Gajarti Studios

Ela Medej, Applicake/FutureSimple/Credictive

Agata Mazur, Applicake/FutureSimple

Ola Sitarska, MyGuidie

Liz Fleming, Venture Lab

Raquel Iglesias, Totfan

Sandra Mesonero, Uniccos

Crsitina Galan, BitCarrier

Sylvia Diaz-Montenegro, Leelo

Barbara Labate, Risparmiosuper

Diana Saraceni, 360 Capital Partners

Juliette Bellavita, tipsandtrip.com

Viktorija Trimbel, Quantum Capital

Monika Garbaciauskaite, Delfi

Irina Anghel, South East European Private Equity and Venture Capital

Demet Mutlu, Trendyol

Kristin Skogen Lund, Telenor

Charlotta Falvin, TAT

Sara Ohlsson, HinnerDu

Elaine Coughlan, Atlantic Bridge

Julie Sinnamon, Enterprise Ireland

Helen Ryan, Creganna Tactx Medical

Marina Kolesnik, Oktogo

Elena Masolova, Pixonic

Alisa Chumachenko, Game Insight

Linda Summers, Skype

Moran Bar, VentureGeeks

Helena Chari, TSN ICAP

Baiba Kaskina, CERT/SigmaNet

Marina Tognetti, Myngle

Christine Karman, Stratix

Colette Ballou, Ballou PR

Eileen Burbidge, Passion Capital

Jessica Powell, Badoo

Joanna Shields, Facebook

Judith Clegg, Classhouse

Kathryn Parsons, Decoded

Nathalie Massenet, Net-a-porter

Rachel Bremer, Twitter

Reshma Sohoni, Seedcamp

Sherry Coutu, entrepreneur and investor

Wendy Tan White, Moonfruit

Bindi Karia, Microsoft

Clare Reddington, iShed

Deborah Rippol, Startup Weekend

Elizabeth Varley, TechHub

Jude Ower, Playmob

Martha Lane Fox, Lastminute

Sonali De Rycker, Accel Partners

Simone Brummelhuis, Astia/TheNextWomen

Nathalie Gaveau, Shopcade

Georgina Atwell, Apple

Tracy Doree, Llustre

Sabine Fillias, Chasson Finance

Jennifer Hicks, Forbes

Olivia Solon, Wired

Jamillah Knowles, The Next Web

Sarah McVittie, Dressipi

Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch

Sofia Barattieri, Motilo

Rebecca Barr, LivingSocial

Erin Noordeloos, NBC Universal

Kresse Wesling, Elvis & Kresse

Sophie Cornish, Notonthehighstreet

Avid Larizadeh, Boticca

Orit Hashay, Brayola

Gali Ross, Razoss

Amit Knaani, ooVoo

Mel Exon, BHH Labs

On behalf of Girls in Tech, we’d like to congratulate everyone on the list and thank them for their amazing contributions to tech and innovation.

A huge thank you to our partner judges who helps us make the final list: Max Niederhofer (Accel Partners), Alex Farcet (Startupbootcamp), Patrick De Zeeuw (Startupbootcamp), Audrey Soussan (Ventech), Christian Thaler-Wolski (Wellington Partners), Paul Papadimitriou (Constellation Research), Marco Magnocavalo (Principia), Martin Kelly (IBM), Carl Sibersky (Poprigo), Cristobal Alonso (Bite Group), Oana Calugar (Neogen), Thibaud Elzière (Fotolia), Ciara Byrne (VentureBeat).