October, For Me

Lakshika and I at #shefcodefirst
Lakshika and I at #shefcodefirst

Main highlights


  • ๐Ÿ“š The Autumn term started and is full swing. Although I had to face some challenges and it hasnโ€™t been a calm, straight-forward, easy transition back into studies, Iโ€™ve started to settle and organise myself more effectively!
  • ๐Ÿค“ My new dissertation title which I find much more fun and focused to study. Can I talk to you about HER2 receptors?

Friends & Family

  • ๐Ÿค— My friend David came to see me in Sheffield at the start of the month. He attempted to teach me how to use his skateboard thing and we caught up (almost) with everything!
  • ๐Ÿ’‘ I went to Crewe with Matt for a family birthday celebration – I enjoyed the surprise gathering and travelling somewhere in the UK that I’ve never been before!
  • ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ‘งโ€๐Ÿ‘ฆ Two of my cousins from the Philippines came to visit, we explored Chatsworth House and I gave them a tour of Sheffield (I feel like Iโ€™m starting to do this a lot more often now! ๐Ÿ˜†)

Tech/Personal/Professional Development

  • ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป Code First: Girls A/W coding courses have begun and as usual, Iโ€™m very excited! The highlight of the classes so far has to be when I taught CSS using Beyoncรฉ gifs. Learning the best way, right? ๐Ÿ˜‚
    You can follow the course by keeping an eye on our hashtag on social media, #shefcodefirst. Check out some of the tweets of the week:

  • ๐Ÿ”ฌ Societal work with MedTech Sheffield has started, we hosted a few events over the past month which had a great turn out! Also the planning for the main event of the year: HackMed has begun!
  • ๐Ÿ‘พ I attended a few Women In STEM events this month: Empowering women in tech at the Google Garage and #MonsterConfidence organised by STEMettes and Monster UK.
  • ๐Ÿ“ธ As part of Women in Techโ€™s #TechTuesdays, I took over their Snapchat for a day and spoke about my journey in tech, challenges, advice and took some behind the scenes shots of #shefcodefirst!
  • ๐ŸŽค I started speaking publicly. I did my first solo talk at Sheffield User Ruby Group on building the local tech community, presented a scientific paper for University, spoke about Code First: Girls to inspire students at USE to set-up a coding group and ran up on stage to talk about this blog post in under 1 minute. ๐Ÿ˜‚
  • โœจ โ€ฆwhere I then won work experience in London during the Monster Confidence Conference!

Teaching CSS at #shefcodefirst

Health and Well-being

  • ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ I completed 16 weeks of Grace Fitโ€™s Guide. Hell yeah. I did that. Iโ€™m stronger, leaner, more confident with much more visible abs and a peach that could kill. I enjoyed it so much that Iโ€™m repeating it from week 1. Round 2, letโ€™s do this!


  • ๐Ÿ“ Matt took over my blog for two weeks, talking about his first adventures abroad to the US. Part 1 and Part 2 can be found here!

3๏ธโƒฃ things Iโ€™m happy about

1) Being inspired by inspiring people

This month I had the chance to meet up with the most inspiring people ever.

Now, I can talk to you about how awesome David is with his art and code and how incredibly talented engineer-artist Tahira is but thatโ€™s a whole different blog post!

But what I will say is thanks to people like David and Tahira, I am kept inspired and constantly reminded why I do what I do: coding, blogging, building, sharing, creating. Keep yourself inspired! ๐Ÿ’–

2) Recognition

On a related note, thank you to those who nominated me for the Northern Power Women Awards. Iโ€™m super happy that the work I do with Code First: Girls and beyond to close the gender gap in STEM has been recognised.

Again, the fuel stems from the inspiration and support around me! Thank you ๐Ÿค—


A post shared by Matt Burman (@_mattburman) on

“My girl doing her thing.

It was the thing that caught my attention of her in the first place. It’s still just as attractive, yet the depth to what I see has changed. Now I know the genuine fuel to the displays of passion. I see the behind the scenes hard work striving to fulfill the mission. I see the innovation and the constant desire to improve on before.

On the face of it I am taking about Code First: Girls. But I know I am really talking about her zest. Her fundamental energy. I know I’ll see it applied to so much more for years to come.
Let’s watch ๐Ÿ‘€” – Matt ๐Ÿ’—

3) Building my confidence

Iโ€™m proud of myself for agreeing to do scary things that I wouldโ€™ve usually done everything in my power to stay clear from.

This month I gained confidence in:

  • Public speaking: I spoke in front an audience a few times (my biggest win this month!)
  • Networking: Connected with various employers from careers fairs or visiting campus and during conferences. I had the chance to build on skills I learnt from my placement – pitching myself, work I do, things that are important to me and expanding my network!

October in photos

From left to right: Google Garage w/ David, Union Street, GYM!!!, Python class AW, Presenting at MedTech intro event, HTML class AW, Matt ๐Ÿ˜ป, Tahira ๐Ÿ˜, end of #gfg.

Monthly favourites

๐ŸŽถ Music: Little of Your Love – HAIM

I just can’t stop listening to them. SPREAD THE WORD!

๐Ÿ“– Book: The Sun and her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Hamdah bought me Rupi’s other book around this time last year. Rupi’s work helped me get through the toughest time of my life to date so it has a special place in my heart! When I heard she had released another book, I just had to buy it.

I have to admit, I cried throughout this one too. I closed the last page feeling motivated, fresh and empowered. โœŠ๐Ÿผ Can’t recommend it enough!

Next month


  • Get as much dissertation work done as possible, well before deadline
  • Keep up with University work
  • Maintain that 1 hour time to focus on yourself every day


  • Exploring Milan with Hamdah#pawdahtravelz makes a return!
  • CFG Conference in London. I’m excited to meet the wider community… finally!
  • I’m delivering a 20-minute talk on building online presence at the SchARR conference.
  • โ€ฆItโ€™s nearly Christmas!!!
Taken by Matt. โค

Quote of the month

16 responses to “October, For Me”

  1. Holy cow you’ve been super busy Pauline! :O
    It seems like you’ve been enjoying life overall, though, and that is an amazing thing. I also think you working to promote and make aware women in STEM is wonderful. In the last couple of years I’ve seen how women are growing more and more comfortable with studying the subjects formerly known as “man subjects”, and I think that’s such a great step for women overall.

    Your campus looks so beautiful in your pictures. o.O Just wow. I hope despite the challenges, you’re enjoying your studies overall though. ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course getting to visit Milan is going to be super exciting! I can’t wait to read about yours and Hamdah’s travels! <3

    1. Thanks so much Shannae! ๐Ÿค—

  2. Congrats on such a busy month and doing many things that challenged but helped you in many ways, that is brilliant beyond words! ๐Ÿ˜€ You have been working so hard doing so many things that it’s fantastic that you are able to help and inspire others as well. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Thanks so much for all the love Kya! ๐Ÿ’–

  3. October seemed really busy for you! Now time to kick November in the ass! I’m so happy you’ve been binge-listening to HAIM – they’re my favorite modern (?) girl group (I mean, after Spice Girls of course haha). Did you ever listen to their first album? I remember, when I worked in fast food and they were just barely arriving in the scene, my coworker was the oldest sister’s best friend! So crazy.

    โ˜ผ cabin twenty-four

    1. I LOVE HAIM! YESSS! Their first album / all their songs are amazinnnng!

  4. Oh my gosh woman, you are BUSY! Honestly, you should be proud of yourself. You KILLED it! That’s an impressive list. Congrats on finishing your workout program too! That’s a big accomplishment, especially with a schedule as busy as yours! I’m doing the BBG plan, but it’s the second time I’ve had to start it since I got super sick at the beginning of the month. I can’t wait to see how I feel when I’m done though. You look GREAT!

    Here’s to the fresh start of another month!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

    1. I heard that BBG is awesome! I think I might give it a go after I finish GFG again!

  5. That’s nice that you had friends and family visit you last month! I’m also always amazed at how much you’re able to do and how involved you are in local events. I think teaching with GIFs or anything else amusing is the way to go! I taught our interns how to write tests in Ruby using Portal as the example once. When it’s fun, I feel like it sticks more!

    Yay, congrats on the nomination, and go you for stepping out of your comfort zone and speaking for an audience! Though you had some challenges in the beginning of the term, it sounds like you’re still kicking butt ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Oh my goodness! You are killing it girl! All these public speaking events?! That’s absolutely amazing! I don’t think I would ever get to a point in my life where I could present in front of a crowd aha just the thought of it gives me anxiety. Wonderful job! You should feel really proud of yourself!

  7. I can’t believe how much you achieve each month, Pauline! It really is amazing to see you doing so much and smashing so many goals. You’re definitely “One to Watch”! I wish I was so successful and driven when I was at uni!

    I loved hearing about your first time doing a presentation. Presentations are so daunting – I can’t believe that I actually had to do them at uni. Congrats on doing so well with yours!

    I need to get Rupi Kaur’s latest book now. I saw loads of people criticising her on Twitter for not writing “real poetry” and it made me so angry. I hate it when people have to put down what other people enjoy to go against the crowd. Just let them be happy!

    Hope you have fun in Milan!

  8. Sounds like you had a great October! Learning by incorporating some fun stuff is the best way to do it! Go you and your Beyonce gifs XD.

    I legit thought you’ve been giving talks for a while now, but still- good job on your first solo talk! It’s good that you’re putting your name out there and getting the recognition you earned. Good luck with your November goals!

  9. As usual quite a packed month! You’re so amazing at all you do! You really are an inspiration to so many people, myself included! =3

  10. That quote at the end basically sums up everything in life and just everything in general. I am dealing with tough times, too but in the end, it makes me stronger. Wow! How do you get to have a busy month? Lol

    I believe that you have an amazing stamina

  11. Looks like a busy month, like always! Yay for meeting up with friends and family. I am not sure what this skateboard thing is, but it’s good you tried it out. And woot for touring Sheffield with your family :3

    I think it’s great you’ve been giving talks and you will be doing some more of it. You have a wonderful time in Milan and London this month ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. October seems to have been a super busy month for you, too! Maybe we just like… get more active in fall. Haha. Always love the clothes you’re wearing too… They are like, super simple, but suits you so well!
    Glad you’re getting your studies through… It’s kind of hard when you have so much stuff going on, but then you don’t get that college degree because you had too much stuff going on… At the same time, you’re never as free as you are when you are in college to pursue EVERYTHING!!! so it’s a difficult (and super exciting!) time.
    Yayyy Christmas and delicious holiday foods…!

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